Reinstated: Jim Thorpe
As sole winner of the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, by the IOC (see “Last Lap”).
Died: Arne Åhman, 97
On July 05, in Umeå, Sweden. The ’48 gold medalist in the triple jump had been track’s oldest living Olympic winner. World Ranked 3 times, with a No. 1 in ’49.
Died: Don Gehrmann, 94
On July 23, in Stoughton, Wisconsin. A 3-time NCAA champion at 1500/mile (1948–50) for Wisconsin, he won the ’48 Olympic Trials before placing 8th in the Olympic final. World Ranked No. 7 in ’50. He won the ’52 AAU Indoor 1000y in a WR 2:08.2. Overall, captured 12 Big 10 titles. Was twice the NCAA XC runner-up.
Died: Ken Gibson, 88
On July 28. A member of the USTFCCCA’s Coaches Hall of Fame, Gibson coached at Florida A&M, Grambling State, Kentucky State and Mississippi. He was head coach of the U.S. team at the ’97 World Indoor.
Died: Jolán Kleiber, 83
On July 20, in Budapest, Hungary. The bronze medalist in the ’68 Olympic discus, she World Ranked 8 times, with her high of No. 1 coming in ’65.
Died: Jim Klein, 90
On July 24. The 4th-placer in the ’60 Olympic Trials decathlon, Klein ranked among the top Americans in ’57 and ’60 (both times No. 4). He later coached at Westmont, UCSB, Idaho State and Boise State.
Died: Noel Ruebel, 65
On July 28, of pancreatic cancer. A Big 10 high jump champ for Purdue, he placed 6th in the ’77 NCAA, . He later coached collegiately at Ohio State, Purdue and Wake Forest.
Died: Bill Russell, 88
On July 31, on Mercer Island, Washington. The basketball legend was also a notable high jumper for the University of San Francisco, World Ranking No. 7 in ’56. Despite winning a number of major meets, including the West Coast Relays where he tied eventual gold medalist Charlie Dumas, he skipped the OT because he already had a spot on the basketball team, on which he won gold. Had a best of 6-9¼ at a time when the WR was 6-11⅝. ◻︎