Full name: Ollie Genoa Matson
Height: 6'2" (188 cm)
Weight: 196 lbs (89 kg)
Born: May 1, 1930 in Trinity, Texas, United States
Died: February 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California, United States
Affiliations: San Francisco Dons, San Francisco (USA)
Country: United States
Medals: 1 Silver, 1 Bronze (2 Total)
Other SR Links: Pro-Football-Reference.com
In 1948, as an 18-year-old schoolboy, Ollie Matson competed in the 400 m at the Final Trials, but failed to make the Olympic team. Four years later he won two medals at the Helsinki Olympics and signed a pro football contract immediately after the Olympics. While at the University of San Francisco, Matson was the top college runner in his senior year, carrying for 1,566 yards, at the time the second best season total ever in college football. He led the NCAA in scoring and rushing and was a first-team All-America selection. He led the Dons to an undefeated 9-0 record but they were denied a chance to play in a Bowl Game as the major bowls refused to invite them, because Matson and his teammate Burl Toler were black.
Matson became one the best running backs in the NFL, playing for the Chicago Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Rams, and Philadelphia Eagles. He was an all-league selection in 1954-57 and was voted MVP of the 1955 Pro Bowl Game. When he retired in 1966, after 14 years in the NFL, he was second only to the legendary Jimmy Brown in combined rushing yardage. His heroics earned him a niche in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame. After his pro career ended, he became a football coach, teacher, scout, and official, and was the first black official in the NFL.
Personal Best: 400 – 46.6 (1952).
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Men's 400 metres||United States||USA||3||Bronze|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay||United States||USA||2||Silver|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||United States||Final||3||46.8||46.94||5|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||United States||Semi-Finals||Heat Two||3||QU||46.7||46.99|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||United States||Quarter-Finals||Heat Two||2||QU||47.4||47.53|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||United States||Round One||Heat Twelve||1||QU||48.1||48.17|