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Rafer Johnson

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January 9, 1994 | DANNY ROBBINS
Rafer Johnson, the former UCLA athlete who won the Olympic decathlon in 1960 and 24 years later lit the Olympic torch at the Los Angeles Summer Games, tonight will receive the NCAA's Theodore Roosevelt Award. The award, known as the "Teddy," is considered the most prestigious honor the NCAA can bestow on an individual. Previous winners include former presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George Bush.
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SPORTS
August 1, 2009
Thanks to Bill Dwyre ["Coming to light," July 28] for a great article about a wonderful human being, Rafer Johnson. As an 18-year-old kid who had just graduated from high school, I attended the 1960 U.S. Olympic trials at Mt. San Antonio College. Rafer Johnson had just qualified to represent our nation at the Rome Olympics. Hundreds of adoring fans were trying to get close to him or to get an autograph. I was fortunate to be able to greet him personally. After shaking hands, he stopped, looked me straight in the eye, and softly said, "Thanks for shaking my hand."
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 1997
World and Olympic record holder Rafer Johnson will be the featured speaker at this year's Mayor's Prayer Breakfast on April 30 at 7:15 a.m. in the Community Meeting Center, 11300 Stanford Ave. Along with Johnson, the program will include a video presentation on the religious diversity in Garden Grove, a breakfast buffet and musical entertainment. Tickets and information: (714) 741-5280.
SPORTS
July 28, 2009 | Bill Brink
The big news The Games of the XXIII Olympiad began in the Coliseum in front of 92,665 spectators. When each raised a colored card, the stands offered a display of the flags of every country participating in the Games. Absent from the display were 14 flags from the countries that followed the Soviet Union's boycott. The David L. Wolper-produced opening ceremony mesmerized those inside the Coliseum as well as those at home, with ABC's Jim McKay and Peter Jennings handling the commentary.
SPORTS
July 28, 2009 | BILL DWYRE
On that magical night of July 28, 1984, there were few more perfect choices to take that one small step for Los Angeles, that one giant leap for the Olympic movement. It was exactly 25 years ago and Rafer Johnson was already an American hero. From a childhood home in Texas with no plumbing or electricity, to the sugar cane fields of Oklahoma and the cotton fields of California's Central Valley, Johnson grew into an Olympic gold medalist in perhaps the most grueling event of all, the decathlon.
SPORTS
January 30, 2002
Rafer Johnson to Speak at College Prep Seminar Olympic champion Rafer Johnson will be the featured speaker Saturday at the College Preparation Seminar from 1 to 3 p.m. at Diamond Bar High. The free seminar brings together a panel of academic and athletic representatives and is designed to offer parents and students information on preparing for a college education. Information: (909) 341-5510. Eric Sondheimer
SPORTS
May 9, 2000 | ERIC SONDHEIMER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Proudly carrying the Olympic flame, Rafer Johnson climbed 99 steps to the top of the Coliseum, stood still momentarily for the whole world to see, then ignited a fuse that set ablaze five Olympic rings and the torch, launching the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Johnson's children, Jenny, then 11, and Josh, then 9, were mesmerized by the pageantry and elegance of the celebration.
SPORTS
July 29, 1995 | ARA NAJARIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
You can't blame Dan O'Brien or Rafer Johnson for being bothered by some of the questions they're being asked at the U.S. Olympic Festival. After all, they are two of the United States' most honored athletes. O'Brien is the world-record holder in the decathlon and, a generation ago, America beamed as Johnson won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1960 Olympic Games, making him only the fourth U.S. Olympic decathlon champion since the modern Games started in 1896.
SPORTS
July 28, 2004 | Alan Abrahamson, Times Staff Writer
In the golden twilight of a summer's afternoon 20 years ago, Rafer Johnson ignited the Olympic flame, signaling the onset of the Summer Games of 1984 in Los Angeles. Even now, he says, anyone who saw it that afternoon at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum wants to touch him, tell him they saw it, explain how he proved that in a world full of problems dreams can still glow, hope can still burn.
NEWS
October 25, 1990 | RAY RIPTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Jenny Johnson's father is known throughout the world for his athletic exploits. But the daughter of former Olympic decathlon champion Rafer Johnson is beginning to make a name for herself. Jenny is one of four seniors on the Windward School volleyball team, the top-ranked team in the CIF-Southern Section 1-A Division. The others are outside hitter Tracy Meller, setter-outside hitter Debra Hill and setter Kate Vittles.
SPORTS
July 28, 2009 | BILL DWYRE
On that magical night of July 28, 1984, there were few more perfect choices to take that one small step for Los Angeles, that one giant leap for the Olympic movement. It was exactly 25 years ago and Rafer Johnson was already an American hero. From a childhood home in Texas with no plumbing or electricity, to the sugar cane fields of Oklahoma and the cotton fields of California's Central Valley, Johnson grew into an Olympic gold medalist in perhaps the most grueling event of all, the decathlon.
NEWS
August 24, 2008
Olympic decathlon: A graphic on the cover of Saturday's Beijing 2008 section listed Rafer Johnson as the gold medalist in the decathlon at the 1956 Summer Games. Johnson won the silver medal; Milton Campbell of the United States won the gold.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 2008 | Josh Getlin, Times Staff Writer
This is the first installment of a column looking at notable new and re-released titles arriving in bookstores. Doping controversies swirl around Olympic athletes. Global tensions threaten the spirit of international cooperation, as TV viewers count down the days to the opening of the summer games. It sounds like a preview of this year's Olympics in Beijing, but we're talking about 1960, when the Rome Olympics ushered in a modern age of athletic competition. That's the idea behind "Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World" (Simon & Schuster)
OPINION
September 15, 2004 | PATT MORRISON, Patt Morrison's e-mail address is patt.morrison@latimes.com.
This is about something that happened in the 1960s, and about what a couple of famous men did or didn't do then. And about whether it matters. The men aren't John Kerry and George Bush, and the turf isn't Vietnam or Texas; it's what has got to be the saddest little piece of real estate in California, and two admirable men's conflicting memories of what took place there. The spot in question is the Ambassador Hotel, where, on June 5, 1968, Robert F.
SPORTS
July 28, 2004 | Alan Abrahamson, Times Staff Writer
In the golden twilight of a summer's afternoon 20 years ago, Rafer Johnson ignited the Olympic flame, signaling the onset of the Summer Games of 1984 in Los Angeles. Even now, he says, anyone who saw it that afternoon at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum wants to touch him, tell him they saw it, explain how he proved that in a world full of problems dreams can still glow, hope can still burn.
SPORTS
January 20, 2003 | Rafer Weigel, Special to the Times
I was named after Rafer Johnson, Olympic decathlon champion, Robert Kennedy supporter of the late 1960s and Special Olympics co-founder. While he needs no introduction in Southern California, virtually no one my age had heard of him in the Chicago suburb where I grew up.
NEWS
August 24, 2008
Olympic decathlon: A graphic on the cover of Saturday's Beijing 2008 section listed Rafer Johnson as the gold medalist in the decathlon at the 1956 Summer Games. Johnson won the silver medal; Milton Campbell of the United States won the gold.
SPORTS
May 4, 1996
What a beautiful article in the Los Angeles Times, April 27 (At the Olympics 'The World Shrinks') written by Rafer Johnson. It should be read by young and old, as it not only teaches us about tolerance of other human beings but also about world geography, which is a subject so sadly lacking in the American schools. BIRGIT LENGYEL Irvine
SPORTS
April 20, 2002
I have for many years considered Rafer Johnson one of the two greatest all-around athletes I ever saw perform, the other being Jackie Robinson. Moreover, Johnson's letter published in last Saturday's Times questioning the elimination of Gary Cunningham from consideration for UCLA's athletic director position demonstrates that he is as perceptive as he was athletic. As Johnson noted, Cunningham has everything that UCLA should be looking for in an athletic director. Therefore, he obviously had to be rejected if the Bruins were to continue on their current course of mediocrity in the major sports.
SPORTS
January 30, 2002
Rafer Johnson to Speak at College Prep Seminar Olympic champion Rafer Johnson will be the featured speaker Saturday at the College Preparation Seminar from 1 to 3 p.m. at Diamond Bar High. The free seminar brings together a panel of academic and athletic representatives and is designed to offer parents and students information on preparing for a college education. Information: (909) 341-5510. Eric Sondheimer
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