For many of my generation, Al Oerter , the US discus throw champion, was a sporting legend.
Al was one of only two track stars (Carl Lewis being the other) to win the same Olympic event four times in a row. He is the only athlete to set four consecutive Olympic records. Seen as a longshot for a medal in the 1956 Games, the 20-year-old youngster surprised the Melbourne crowd by winning the Gold Medal on his first throw and setting his first Olympic record.
Four years later in Rome, he exceeded his winning distance in Melbourne by 10 feet to win his second consecutive Olympic Gold Medal.
Oerter’s third Olympic Games, 1964 Tokyo, brought another Gold Medal despite a severe rib cage injury. Then, in 1968 in Mexico City, Oerter made Olympic history by becoming the first Olympian to win the same event in four consecutive Games.
Saddened to hear of his death recently some weeks after he turned 71. May his soul rest in peace.