A Look at the All Time U.S. Gold Medalists in the Olympic Men’s 100 Meters
One of the premier events in the Olympics is the men’s 100 meter dash. Sprinters from the United States have won the gold medal in the event 16 times, plus one from the 1906 games that are not officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Here’s a look at past U.S. gold medalists in the men’s 100 meters and their winning times.
1896 Athens, Greece: Tom Burke 12.0 seconds
In the first modern Olympic Games, U.S. sprinter Tom Burke won the gold in the 100 meters by two tenths of a second over Germany’s Fritz Hofmann. Burke also won the 400 meters. A native of Boston, Burke was on the track team of Boston University and later at Harvard while he was a graduate student.
1900 Paris, France: Frank Jarvis 11.0 seconds
Jarvis, a member of the Princeton University track team, was a surprise winner when fellow American and gold medal favorite Arthur Duffey hurt his leg in the final.
1904 St. Louis, USA: Archie Hahn 11.0 seconds
Besides winning the 100 meters, Hahn also took the gold in the 200 meters and in the now defunct 60 meters. The U.S. swept all the medals in the three events. Hahn, a Wisconsin native nicknamed “The Milwaukee Meteor”, was a member of the University of Michigan track team. He later coached track at Princeton and the University of Virginia. Hahn won the gold again in the 1906 games in Athens. At the time, Greece wanted to host an Olympics type of event every four years in between the regularly scheduled games. Initially, the IOC gave this event official recognition, but later reversed itself and the 1906 games are not considered to be official Olympic Games.
1912 Stockholm, Sweden: Ralph Craig 10.8 seconds
Another sprinter out of the University of Michigan, Craig won both the 100 meters and 200 meters. There were seven false starts in the 100 meters final, and on the eighth start Craig outran fellow Americans Alvah Meyer and Donald Lippincott as the U.S. again won all three medals.
1920 Antwerp, Belgium: Charles Paddock 10.8 seconds
A member of the USC track team, Paddock won the gold in the100 meters and took home the silver in the 200 meters. He was also a member of the gold medal winning 4 X 100 relay team. Paddock was an officer in the U.S. Marines in both World Wars. He was killed in a military plane crash near Sitka, Alaska, July 21st, 1943.
1932 Los Angeles, USA: Eddie Tolan 10.3 seconds
Yet another Michigan Wolverine, Tolan beat fellow American Ralph Metcalfe in a photo finish in the 100 meters. Tolan also won the gold in the 200 meters.
1936 Berlin, Germany: Jesse Owens 10.3 seconds
As a member of the Ohio State track team, Owens set five world records and tied another in the Big Ten track Championships in 1935. Owens followed that with an outstanding performance in the ’36 games held in Adolph Hitler’s Nazi Germany and in front of Hitler himself, who attended the games . Owens won gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 4 X 100 relay, and long jump. The 200 and relay times were world records and his long jump set an Olympic record.
1948 London, England: Harrison Dillard 10.3 seconds
Dillard was an outstanding hurdler out of Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio who did not qualify for the Olympic team in that event. He did qualify for the 100 meters, and pulled off an upset victory. He won a second gold in the 4 X 100 relay. Four years later in the ’52 games, he won the gold in the 110 meter hurdles and was a repeat winner in the relay.
1552 Helsinki, Finland: Lindy Remigino 10.4 seconds
In the closest finish ever in an Olympic 100 meters, little known Manhattan College sprinter Lindy Remigino pulled off an upset victory. Remigino thought he had lost to Jamaican sprinter Herb McKenley, who had finished with a furious burst of speed, and was congratulating him when the photo finish results were posted with Remigino as the winner. Remigino also won gold in the 4 X 100 relay.
1956 Melbourne, Australia: Bobby Morrow 10.5 seconds
Texan Bobby Morrow, a member of Abilene Christian University’s track team, beat fellow American Thane Baker and Australian Hector Hogan to win the gold in the 100 meters in the first Olympics held in the southern hemisphere. Morrow also won gold in the 200 meters and 4 X 100 relay.
1964 Tokyo, Japan: Bob Hayes 10.0 seconds
A member of Florida A&M University’s track team, Hayes won gold in both the 100 meters and 4 X 100 relay. After the Olympics, Hayes began an 11 year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys (1965-74) and San Francisco 49ers (1975). He is the only athlete to win an individual Olympic gold medal and play on a Super Bowl winner (Super Bowl VI, Dallas over the Miami Dolphins).
1968 Mexico City, Mexico: Jim Hines 9.95 seconds
Hines set a world record in winning the gold, then set another while anchoring the gold medal 4 X 100 relay team. Hines was a member of Texas Southern University’s track team. After the Olympics, he was drafted by the NFL’s Miami Dolphins. Hines’ football career was brief; he played in just ten games with the Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.
1984 Los Angeles, USA: Carl Lewis 9.99 seconds
In 1984, Lewis won gold in the 100 meters, 200 meters, 4 X100 relay and long jump, just as Jesse Owens had done in 1936. In the 100 meters, Lewis trailed American Sam Graddy at the 80 meter mark before putting on an incredible burst of speed and winning the race by eight feet.
1988 Seoul, South Korea: Carl Lewis 9.92 seconds
Lewis finished second to Canada’s Ben Johnson in the final, but Johnson was disqualified when lab tests revealed he used steroids. This was Lewis’ final Olympic 100 meters. He was in two more Olympic games in other events, closing out his career in the 1996 Atlanta games with a gold medal in the long jump at age 35. He won nine gold and one silver medal in his four Olympics.
2000 Sydney, Australia: Maurice Greene 9.87 seconds
After setting the world record of 9.79 a year earlier, Greene took the gold in Sydney with a .12 second victory over Ato Boldon of Trinidad . He won another gold in the 4 X 100 relay. Greene competed in the 100 meters again in the 2004 Athens games and won the bronze medal.
2004 Athens, Greece: Justin Gatlin 9.85 seconds
Gatlin, who was a member of the University of Tennessee’s track team, won the gold in the 100 meters and a bronze and silver in two other events in Athens. His career was interrupted by a four year ban (2006-2010) for doping. That included the 2008 Olympics. He returned to competition in 2011, and won the Bronze in the 100 meters at the 2012 London Games, finishing behind Jamaicans Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake. Bolt also won the gold in the 2008 Beijing games. Gatlin and Bolt are both participating in the 2016 Rio games, so there could be a matchup between the winners of the last three Olympic 100 meters.