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Horace Ashenfelter
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Athlete
    (January 23, 1923-January 6, 2018)
    Born in Collegeville, Pennsylvania
    Athlete and FBI agent
    Won 15 national Amateur Athletic Union titles
    Won the gold medal in 3,000-meter steeplechase at the Helsinki Olympics (1952)
    Won the Sullivan Award for outstanding amateur athlete (1952)
    Inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame (1975)
    Two weeks before the Olympics, the FBI transferred him to their office in Princeton – which, coincidentally, was where the US track and field team was training.
    He set a record in winning his gold medal but it was not officially recognized (since the International Amateur Athletics Federation did not track records in the steeplechase until 1954).
    The silver medal went to a Soviet athlete, Vladimir Kazantsev, leading to endless ‘G-man trailed by Communist’ jokes on the sports pages.
    In high school, he lettered in football, basketball and baseball as well as track and field.
    He served in the Air Force as a pilot and a gunnery instructor during World War II.
    He and his wife Lillian were married for over 65 years.
    He trained by running up the stairs in the office building where he worked and by jumping over the benches in a local park.
    After his Olympic victory, he further delighted the crowd by interrupting his victory lap to run up 30 rows into the stands to kiss his wife.

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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