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Jim Ryun

Inducted: 1980, athlete

Born: April 29, 1947 - Wichita, Kansas

Events
800 m - 1:44.90
1,500 m - 3:33.10
1 mi. - 3:51.10
2 mi. - 8:25


The first high school runner to break 4 minutes in the one-mile run, Jim Ryun had yet to graduate from East High School in Wichita, Kans., when he made his first Olympic team in 1964. A year later, he set the American record of 3:55, beating Olympic champion Peter Snell of New Zealand. While at the University of Kansas, he became world record holder in the 800 yards and one-mile run at age 19 and gained the 1500m record the following year. In all, Ryun set six world records and held the world mile record for nine years and U.S. mile record for 14 years. He won three National AAU one-mile titles and five national collegiate titles, four of them indoors. In 1967, he received the Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. Although ill with mononucleosis in 1968, he made the Olympic team and fought off the rarefied air of Mexico City to take the silver medal in the 1500. He retired in 1969 but came back in 1971 and a year later, qualified for the Olympic team at 1500 meters. However, a fall at Munich ended his medal hopes. He turned professional in 1973 and later went into politics, becoming a U.S. Representative from Kansas.

Records Held
World Record: 1,500 m - 3:33.10 (July 8, 1967 - )
World Record: 1 mi. - 3:51.10 (June 23, 1967 - )

Championships
1968 Olympics: 1,500 m (2nd)

Education
high school: East (Wichita, Kansas), 1965
undergraduate: Kansas (Lawrence, Kansas), 1970

Occupations
U.S. Congressman

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