You Are Here > SR/Olympics > Athletes > Vince Matthews

Vince Matthews

Full name: Vincent Edward "Vince" Matthews
Gender: Male
Height: 6'2" (187 cm)
Weight: 179 lbs (81 kg)
Born: December 16, 1947 in Queens, New York, United States
Affiliations: BOHAA Club
Country: USA United States
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 2 Gold (2 Total)

Biography

After an impressive 1967 season, which included a 45.0 for 400 m as well as a gold medal in the 4×400 m relay (with Lee Evans and the non-Olympians Emmett Taylor and Albert Stinson) and a silver medal in the 400 m at the Pan American Games, Vince Matthews set a world record of 44.4 in 1968 although the mark was never ratified because Matthews was wearing illegal brush spikes. Because he finished fourth at the 1968 Final Trials he only made the relay team for the Mexico Olympics, where the U.S. took the gold medals and set a world record of 2:56.16. Matthews retired after the 1968 Olympics but made a comeback in 1972, and after finishing third at the Final Trials, pulled off a surprise win in the Olympic final. He missed a chance for another medal when the U.S. was unable to field a team for 4×400 m after Matthews and Wayne Collett were banned from future Olympic competition for their behavior during the medal ceremony for the individual 400 m. They refused to stand at attention during the national anthem and openly conversed as it played. They later stated they did it as a protest against the treatment of blacks in the United States.

Personal Bests: 200 – 20.7 (1972); 400 – 44.66 (1972).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1968 Summer 20 Ciudad de México Athletics Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay United States USA 1 Gold WR
1972 Summer 24 München Athletics Men's 400 metres United States USA 1 Gold

Men's 400 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(A) L
1972 Summer 24 München Athletics United States Final 1 44.66 2
1972 Summer 24 München Athletics United States Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 44.94 4
1972 Summer 24 München Athletics United States Quarter-Finals Heat Two 2 QU 45.62 3
1972 Summer 24 München Athletics United States Round One Heat Five 2 QU 45.94 1

Men's 4 × 400 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) ST
1968 Summer 20 Ciudad de México Athletics United States USA Final 1 WR 2:56.1 2:56.16 45,0
1968 Summer 20 Ciudad de México Athletics United States USA Round One Heat One 1 QU/=OR 3:00.7 3:00.71