John Powell (discus thrower)

John Gates Powell (born June 25, 1947) is an American track and field athlete who specialized in the discus throw. He set a world record at 69.08 meters in 1975, and his personal best of 71.26 meters ties him for ninth place in the all-time performers list.[2]

John Powell
John Powell discus 1972.jpg
Powell in 1972
Personal information
BornJune 25, 1947 (1947-06-25) (age 75)
San Francisco, California, U.S.[1]
Height188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight110 kg (243 lb)
Event(s)Discus throw, shot put, hammer throw
ClubBud Light Track America
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)DT – 71.26 m (1984)
SP – 17.09 m (1976)
HT – 58.49 m (1984)[1]


Powell was a four-time member of the American Olympic Team. Powell finished fourth at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, won a bronze medal at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal,[1] and was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team which did not compete in the USSR due to the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott. He did however receive one of 461 Congressional Gold Medals created especially for the athletes.[3] He won the bronze medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.


Some track and field competitions in 1987 appear to have been Powell's last ones on the international level. Powell still runs several annual weight-throwing camps with his fellow Olympian weight throwers. Powell also still teacher a few of his young champion-level throwers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, nearly every week.[citation needed]

In 2019, he was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame.[4]


Powell is a seven time US-champion in Discus throw in 1974, 1975, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987


  1. ^ a b c Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "John Powell". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 2009-04-20.
  2. ^ John Powell.
  3. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry (2008). Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  4. ^’s-best-athletes-performances-and-hall-of-
Preceded by Men's Discus World Record Holder
May 3, 1975 – April 24, 1976
Succeeded by