Bob Mathias and Dutch Warmerdam

Bob Mathias and Dutch Warmerdam – they were two of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, yet hardly anyone knows who they are. Bob Mathias just passed away this week (See earlier blog) but these obituaries due not do him justice. He was a big man who as athletic and graceful as a ballerina. He received significant media attention in his era, but that pales n comparison to where he would have been today. Dutch, on the other hand achieved his greatest success in the era before and during WWII. He was the first man to pole vault fifteen feet. He did this on a bamboo pole into a sawdust landing pit! He was the track the track coach at Fresno Sate when I was there. He would workout at lunch time, running sprints. At that time he had to be in his late 40’s or early fifties, he was so great to watch run. A real athlete, like Mathias, graceful and rhythmic in his actions. I can’t help but think what he would do today with modern equipment.


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