Olympic gold medalist Ralph Boston dies at 83

 May 2, 2023

Olympic gold medalist Ralph Boston died Sunday at the age of 83.

Boston was known for winning three medals, including one gold, at the 1960 Rome games for the U.S. track and field team.

His legacy

"Boston dominated the long jump through much of the 1960s by breaking or tying world records six more times over that span. A tall and sinewy Mississippian, he won a gold medal in the Rome Olympics in 1960, a silver medal in Tokyo in 1964 and a bronze in Mexico City in 1968," the New York Times reported.

"Boston won the N.C.A.A. long jump title in 1960, when he was an emerging athlete at Tennessee State University (then known as the Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State University). In August, he burst onto the national scene at a conditioning meet in Los Angeles that served as a final tuneup before the Rome Olympics," it added.

His impact on the sport

"Boston won silver and bronze at the next two Olympics and remains the lone person to win an Olympic long jump medal of every color. Only Carl Lewis, who won four golds, has more Olympic long jump medals," NBC Sports stated.

"Boston broke the men’s long jump world record six times between 1960-65 and shared the record going into the 1968 Mexico City Games," it added.

"I'm devastated about Ralph Boston's passing. As a child I idolized him and he was a major influence in my life," fellow Olympian Carl Lewis tweeted.

"I'll miss his voice and support. He changed the game as an athlete, advocate and mentor. Jumpers, Know his name!!! Rest with the greats," he added.

Record holder

Boston's record-breaking long jump in 1960 broke a record that had stood since 1935, topping the famous Jesse Owens.

The former record-holder officially passed away following a recent stroke, living more than eight decades as a representative of the sport for the U.S.

The nation will miss the life of the champion who brought a trio of medals to the country and a new record that pushed the sport to a higher level.

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