|Affiliation||American Third Position
Gordon, Texas , United States
|| February 20, 1926
Aug 28, 2016 02:30pm
Caucasian - Married - Baptist - Straight -
|Info||The "Vaulting Vicar" as he was known in his competitive days, the Rev. Robert Eugene "Bob" Richards was a versatile athlete who made three Olympic teams in two events. He competed in the 1948, 1952, and 1956 Summer Olympics as a pole vaulter, and also was a decathlete in 1956. |
The second man to pole vault 15 feet, he was the Olympic pole vault gold medalist in 1952 and 1956 after winning the bronze medal in 1948. He also was 13th in the 1956 decathlon. While a student at the University of Illinois, Richards tied for the national collegiate pole vault title and followed that with 20 national AAU titles, including 17 in the pole vault.
The only two-time Olympic gold medal winner in the pole vault, Richards later became involved in promoting physical fitness and continued to vault in his later years. He was the first athlete to appear on the front of Wheaties cereal boxes from 1958-69 and set up the Wheaties Sports Foundation, which encouraged participation in Olympic sports.
He had two sons who also were outstanding pole vaulters; one, Brandon, held the national high school record. An ordained minister, he was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.
In 2010, he joined the newly-formed American Third Position Party. [Link]