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Ralph Metcalfe

Full name: Ralph Harold Metcalfe
Gender: Male
Height: 5-10.5 (180 cm)
Weight: 181 lbs (82 kg)
Born: May 29, 1910 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Died: October 10, 1978 in Chicago, Illinois, United States
Affiliations: Marquette Golden Eagles, Milwaukee (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze (4 Total)

Biography

Although some 50 years later Jesse Owens is remembered as the great sprinter of the 30s, Ralph Metcalfe was on many counts Owens' superior. Metcalfe was at his best between the 1932 and 1936 Olympics and he won both sprints at the AAU and NCAA for three straight years (1932-34) and won the AAU 200m in 1935-36 to give him a record of five straight wins in this event. Metcalfe, who attended Marquette, equalled the world record of 10.3 for 100m six times, but only three of those clockings reached the record books. In 1932 he ran a wind-assisted 19.8 for 220y on a straight track in Toronto to become the first man to break the 20-second barrier. In the 1932 Olympic 200m, Metcalfe may have been unfairly deprived of a gold medal when it was later shown that the lane in which he ran was about two meters longer than it should have been. Metcalfe graciously declined a protest and a re-run because the American threesome of Eddie Tolan, George Simpson, and himself had swept the medals in the event. Ralph Metcalfe later became well known in Chicago politics, serving on the city council under Mayor Daley for many years. In 1970, Metcalfe was elected to the U.S. Congress from the 1st District in Illinois, serving until his death. He also gave yeoman service to the USOC, being elected to their board of directors in 1969.

Personal Bests: 100 – 10.38 (1932); 200 – 20.6 (1933).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics Men's 100 metres United States USA 2 Silver
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics Men's 200 metres United States USA 3 Bronze
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics Men's 100 metres United States USA 2 Silver
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay United States USA 1 Gold WR

Men's 100 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) T(A) L
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics United States Final 2 =WR 10.3 10.38 3
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics United States Semi-Finals Heat Two 1 QU 10.6 10.65
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics United States Quarter-Finals Heat Three 1 QU 10.7 10.77
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics United States Round One Heat Five 1 QU 11.0
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics United States Final 2 10.4w 6
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics United States Semi-Finals Heat Two 1 QU 10.5
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics United States Quarter-Finals Heat Three 1 QU 10.5
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics United States Round One Heat Seven 1 QU 10.8

Men's 200 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T(H) L T(A)
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics United States Final 3 21.5 2
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics United States Semi-Finals Heat One 1 QU 21.5 21.52
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics United States Quarter-Finals Heat One 1 QU/OR 21.5 21.59
1932 Summer 22 Los Angeles Athletics United States Round One Heat Three 2 QU 22.9

Men's 4 × 100 metres Relay

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T(H) L
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics United States USA Final 1 WR 39.8 4
1936 Summer 26 Berlin Athletics United States USA Round One Heat One 1 QU/=WR 40.0
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