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article imageIn Memoriam: Olympic gold medalist Don Bragg (1935-2019)

By Markos Papadatos     Feb 19, 2019 in Sports
On February 16, the pole vault community mourned the loss of Olympian Don Bragg. He passed away at the age of 83 in Northern California.
An American pole vaulter, Bragg was an Olympic gold medalist in the men's pole vault in the 1960 Summer Olympic Games that were held in Rome. His clearance of 4.70 meters, at the time, was an Olympic record, where he eclipsed the previous Olympic record by American athlete Bob Richards (4.56 meters) that he set in 1956 by nearly six inches.
Fellow American pole vaulter Ron Morris came in second place at the Rome Olympics in the men's pole vault with 4.60 meters and Eeles Landström from Finland claimed the bronze medal with 4.55 meters.
Bragg was affectionately known as "Tarzan." During his competitive athletic career, Bragg stood at six feet and three inches, and he weighed around 200 pounds.
He was also the world record holder in the men's pole vault with 4.80 meters, which he set on July 2, 1960 at the U.S. Olympic trials, and it lasted until May 20, 1961. That world record was succeeded by George Davies, who was the first pole vaulter to set a world record on a fiberglass pole.
According to Philly, his nephew, Mike Stranahan, mentioned that he was battling dementia in recent years. The New York Times also revealed that he had a stroke a decade ago.
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