Charley Paddock
Team USATrack and Field

Charley Paddock

Three-time Olympian (1920, 1924, 1928); four-time Olympic medalist (2 golds, 2 silvers) Antwerp 1920, gold (100-meter, 4x100), silver (200) Paris 1924, silver (200) Amsterdam 1928

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    Athlete Bio

    Charley Paddock


    Pasadena, CA


    Pasadena High School (Pasadena, Calif.) University of Southern California

    Graduated from the University of Southern California in 1922...Served in the U.S. Field Artillery during World War I...Earned the nickname “World’s Fastest Human” following a string of world-record efforts in 1920 and 1921...Worked as a writer and newspaper publisher following his athletic career...Academy Award-winning film “Chariots of Fire” is based on his performance at the Olympic Games Paris 1924...Wrote an autobiography titled, “The Fastest Human.”

    A native of Gainesville, Texas, Charley Paddock was an American sprinter and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Nicknamed “The World’s Fastest Human,” Paddock attended the University of Southern California before serving in the U.S. Field Artillery during World War I. He won three medals at the Olympic Games Antwerp 1920, earning gold medals in the 100-meter and 4x100, as well as the silver medal in the 200. He would later win silver in the 200 at the Paris 1924 Games. Paddock was known for his unusual finishing style, which involved leaping with widespread arms across the finish line. Throughout his career, he held world records in the 100, 200, the 100-yard dash, the 220yd dash and the 4x100 relay. After retiring from competitive racing in 1929, Paddock worked as a writer and went into the newspaper business as an editor and publisher. He passed away in a plane crash during World War II while serving in the Marine Corps.
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