Harrison Dillard on the BW track

Four-time Olympic gold medalist and legendary 1949 BW graduate, Harrison Dillard recognized as "The Forgotten Fastest Man."

BW Olympic Legend Harrison Dillard Featured in ESPN’s “The Undefeated”

July 12, 2016

Harrison Dillard as featured on ESPN's The UndefeatedBaldwin Wallace University graduate and Olympic sprinting and hurdling legend Harrison Dillard '49 is being featured as part of the ESPN series, “The Undefeated.” Under the headline, "The Forgotten Fastest Man," author Daniel McGraw traces Dillard's illustrious track and field career ahead of the 2016 games in Rio.

The 1949 BW graduate is still the only male athlete to ever win Olympic gold medals in both the sprints and high hurdles. Known as “Bones” to both friend and foe, Dillard was a fierce competitor who loved both the competition and friendships that occurred throughout his track and field career.

Olympic Glory

Dillard won four Olympic gold medals, two in 1948 in London, England and two more in 1952 in Helsinki, Finland. He won gold in the 100-meter dash, 110-meter high hurdles and two as a member of the 4x100-meter relay team.

Harrison Dillard's Olympic goldAfter winning a then-world record 82 straight hurdles races, Dillard failed to make the 1948 Olympic team as a hurdler but qualified in the 100 meters. In London, despite not running his best event, he "outleaned" the favored Barney Ewell of the U.S. to win the gold medal. He also won gold as a member of the relay team.

Four years later in Helsinki, Dillard won the gold medal in his trademark event, the 110-meter high hurdles by narrowly beating American Jack Davis. He also won his second gold in the 4x100-meter relay.

Yellow Jacket Accolades

A bronze likeness of Harrison Dillard stands outside Finnie Stadium at BWAt BW, Dillard, whose likeness is now enshrined in bronze just outside BW's George Finnie Stadium, won four national collegiate titles in the high and low hurdles. He also took 14 AAU outdoor titles in the high and low hurdles and lost the opportunity for more because of the outbreak of World War II.

An outstanding starter, Dillard was virtually unbeatable indoors, winning the AAU 60-yard hurdles seven years in a row from 1947 through 1953 and again in 1955. A world record holder in both the high and low hurdles, Dillard won the 1955 Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete. He also is a member of 14 world and American halls of fame, including the BW Alumni Athletic Association Hall of Fame.