Al Oerter

Al Oerter, a great champion died yesterday. It is hard to find words to describe what a great competitor he was. He won four straight gold medals in the discus beginning in 1956 and culminating in Mexico City in 1968. He was never the favorite in any of those Olympics but somehow he always found a way to win. Incidentally he set Olympic records in each of his victories. He was absolutely the best when the chips were down. I remember him as a humble champion who was respected by all.My fondest memories of Oerter were watching him compete in 1980. He was in his mid forties, but did not look a day over thirty. It was amazing to watch him compete; it was as if his competitors were waiting for him to win. What he had was magic. I sure wish there were more Al Oerters today, no boasting or bravado, just results.


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