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RIP Parry O'Brien

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by boots, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. boots

    boots New Member

    LOS ANGELES -- Olympic gold medalist Parry O'Brien, who revolutionized the sport of shot-putting and went on to break 17 world records, died Saturday during a swimming race in Santa Clarita. He was 75.

    Parry O'Brien's method of turning 180-degrees before launching the shot put changed the entire sport.
    O'Brien's wife, Terri, told the New York Times he had a heart attack while competing in a 500-yard masters freestyle race.

    O'Brien began experimenting with new techniques in 1951 while attending Southern California. His method of turning 180-degrees before launching the shot put changed the entire sport.

    Before 1951, O'Brien could not put the shot more than 55 feet. From 1953 to 1966, he broke the world record 17 times, starting with 59-feet¾ inches and raising it to 63-3. He won 17 American titles in the shot-put and one in the discus throw. His longest victory streak was 116 meets.

    In the Olympics, O'Brien won gold medals in 1952 and 1956 and a silver medal in 1960.

    O'Brien retired from competition in 1966 and went on to work in commercial banking, real estate and civil engineering.

    He lived with his wife in Rancho Belago, near Palm Springs.

    O'Brien is survived by two daughters, two stepsons, and seven grandchildren.
  2. He and Dick Fosbury are the only two people I can think of who created entirely new ways to compete in an event.
    Also a staple of Abc's Wide World back in the glory days when Jim McKay came to us via satellite from Lenin Stadium.
  3. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Minor pet peeve: You don't launch a shot put. You either launch the shot or you put the shot.
  4. You know where you can put your shot, right?
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