Date of Birth:
Helsinki 1952 - 400m, Gold Medalist; Helsinki 1952 - 4x400m, Gold Medalist
Marooned in the 400 semis in 1948, George Rhoden arrived for the 1952 Olympics as world record holder at 45.8 seconds and favourite. He didn’t disappoint. Fortified by a brilliant career at Morgan State University, Rhoden won from the outside lane with McKenley closing fast for second and with Wint further back. Frustrated by an injury to Wint in the 1948 4×400 final, George watched as Wint, 2-time 200 finalist Les Laing and McKenley delivered the baton to him with a slim lead.
The stout-hearted Kingstonian ran his anchor leg while chanting encouragement to himself. His effort capped a world record victory for Jamaica over the United States.
Rhoden was blinking quick at all three sprint distances. In addition to 3 NCAA 440 yard titles, he ran the 100 in 10.3 seconds. His trio of 440 yard wins were the first by a non-American and in 1951, he did a 220/440 double. His all-round speed made the difference in Helsinki, where his winning time of 45.9 seconds established a new Olympic record.