Malcolm Spence (Jamaican athlete)

Malcolm A. E. "Mal" Spence (2 January 1936 – 30 October 2017) was a Jamaican athlete who mainly competed in the 400 metres. His twin brother Melville also competed in track and field. Malcolm died five years and two days after his brother.

Malcolm Spence
Personal information
Birth nameMalcolm A. E. Spence
Born2 January 1936
Kingston, Jamaica
Died30 October 2017(2017-10-30) (aged 81)
Boca Raton, Florida

Spence competed for the British West Indies in the 1960 Summer Olympics held in Rome, Italy, where he won the bronze medal in the men's 4x400 metres relay with his teammates James Wedderburn, Keith Gardner and George Kerr. Curiously, there were two people named Malcolm Spence running the 400 meters distance at both the 1956 and the 1960 Olympics, both getting a bronze medal in 1960. Malcolm Spence from South Africa took the bronze medal in the Open race, while the South African relay team finished in fourth, one second behind Mal Spence's British West Indian relay team. Both twins returned to run the 4x400 relay in 1964 as members of the first independent Jamaican team.

Living in Florida, he served as a torchbearer for the 1996 Olympics in nearby Atlanta.

Both Mal and his twin brother were recruited to run for Arizona State University during the civil rights movement of the late 1950s, among the first international athletes to come to the USA for athletics.[1][2]

He is the author of The Lives and Times of Mal and Mel: Three Times Jamaican Olympians published in 2011.[3]


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  3. ^ Spence, Malcolm (July 2011). The Lives and Times of Mal and Mel: Three Times Jamaican Olympians. ISBN 9781462013968.