US sprinter Jim Hines, who achieved the historic feat of running the 100m in under 10 seconds, has passed away at 76. Hines set the record in 1968 with a hand-timed 9.9 seconds at the US Championships. Shortly after, he broke his own record and won the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics, with an electronic timer recording him at 9.95 seconds in Mexico City.
His record remained unbroken for nearly 15 years until Calvin Smith ran a time of 9.93 seconds in 1983. This is the longest duration an athlete has held the men’s 100m record since the International Amateur Athletic Foundation began tracking it 110 years ago. World Athletics announced Hines’ passing and expressed deep sadness in a statement.
Both the Olympics and USA Track and Field paid tribute to Hines on Twitter, acknowledging his legendary status. Born in Arkansas in 1946, Hines was however raised in Oakland, California. He showed early talent in sprinting and attended Texas Southern University, competing in national championships and the Olympics.
Besides winning the 100m at the 1968 Olympics, Hines also secured gold as part of the US 4x100m relay team. Hines joined the Miami Dolphins and played in the NFL after retiring from sprinting. He also played for the Kansas City Chiefs. Jim continued playing for three years in the league before eventually ending his professional career.
Hines faced a burglary in Houston, where his gold medals were stolen shortly after the Olympics. However, he managed to recover them when the stolen medals were anonymously returned in a plain brown envelope after he placed an advertisement in his local newspaper. In addition to his individual achievements, Hines anchored the USA to another Olympic gold medal and world record in the 4x100m relay.
Hines’ legacy and impact on the sport of sprinting are recognized by World Athletics and the athletic community. His remarkable record-breaking feat and contributions to the sport will be remembered. Jim Hines leaves behind a lasting legacy as a trailblazer in the world of sprinting and as a revered athlete.