Olympics

American Bob Mathias became youngest decathlon winner on this day in 1948 Olympics

Bob Mathias, Tulare, Calif., high school boy, makes mighty discus toss in Wembley England Stadium August 6, 1948 to take lead in the Decathlon in the London Summer Olympics. Mathias, 17, hurled the discus for a distance of 144 feet 4 inches to top the field. Toss earned him 834 points and boosted his Decathlon total to 5,500 points.
Bob Mathias, Tulare, Calif., high school boy, makes mighty discus toss in Wembley England Stadium August 6, 1948 to take lead in the Decathlon in the London Summer Olympics. Mathias, 17, hurled the discus for a distance of 144 feet 4 inches to top the field. Toss earned him 834 points and boosted his Decathlon total to 5,500 points. AP

Aug. 6, 1948

After two days and 10 events, 17-year-old Bob Mathias took home gold for the United States in the decathlon at the 1948 London Olympics, becoming the youngest athlete to win gold in a track and field event.

His combined score of 7,139 bested the other 23 in the field, with second-place Ignance Heinrich of France (6,974) finishing 165 points behind.

Mathias went on to repeat in the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland, with a then-world-record performance before retiring from athletics.

Later on in life, Mathias began a career in politics and served California in the U.S. House of Representatives for eight years (1967-1975).

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