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Durban Sandshark

Al Oerter Dies

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The amazing thing about him was that he wasn't favored to win in any of the times that he won the four Olympic discus titles. He was a gentle giant with a history of heart problems and high blood pressure since he was young. It's very hard to win four consecutive titles at the Olympics in the same event, but he and Carl Lewis have done that and became legends.

Al Oerter Dies

He richly deserves his place as an Olympic legend. :(

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Whoooaa. Sorry to hear that. Yeah, I think he holds a special place in sports history.

I guess I am even a little sorrier that I didn't buy a pastel or watercolor of his a few years ago when he first put his artworks on sale online. I actually did get to speak with him. I guess I didn't go ahead with the purchase because I wasn't completely 'sold' on the piece I wanted, satsifaction-wise, meaning I was going to do it more for investment purposes rather than personal fulfillment reasons. And that they say is never the reason to buy artwork. Well, time will tell.

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I don't really remember Al Oerter, but I do know the name as I hear current athletes, commentators etc, talk about him. I am sad he has left us though! :( RIP

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oerter.jpg

I'm sorry to hear that, too - farewell...

:(

@ roltel - it seems that this picture is from 1956 - do you think so too?

Yeah, I've seen the pic many times before, that's definitely him in Melbourne.

Farewell Al, you're a true legend!

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Well, I guess his final act on the Olympic stage was bringing in the Olympic torch into the stadium for the Atlanta 1996 Games. He will be missed.

Link: CBC: Olympic Discus Great Al Oerter Dies

oerter-al-getty.jpg

Al Oerter won the discus event in 1968 in Mexico City for his fourth Olympic gold medal.

(AFP/Getty Images)

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He truly was one of the greatest athletes in Olympic history. What a loss!

Did you know that Oerter threw his personal best in 1980, at the age of 43? And that he almost qualified for the LA 1984 Olympics, at the age of 47? At the 1984 US Olympic trials, he strained an Achilles tendon before his last three throws. And just one year before, he had thrown 67.89 m with which he would have won the 1984 Olympic final, won by West Germany's Rolf Danneberg with only 66.60 m. And: Oerter made a 74.67 m throw while filming for a TV segment -- that would be the standing world record until today. Unbelievable, isn't it?

Kudos, kudos, kudos!

(Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Oerter

http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00016388.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/01/sports/o...nyt&emc=rss

Official Report of the Los Angeles 1984 Games, Volume 2, page 288

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Well, I guess his final act on the Olympic stage was bringing in the Olympic torch into the stadium for the Atlanta 1996 Games.

Before handing off to Evander Holyfield in the bowels of the Atlanta Olympic Stadium. So if Evander, Janet Evans and Big Mouth Ali had stumbled, then Oerter would've been the FINAL torchbearer in 1996. (Yeah, I know, they threw in Vuola Pitoulidou as a sopwith to the Greeks.)

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I remember watching a McDonald's commercial from 1996 featuring US Olympic gold medalists like Pablo Morales, Nancy Hoghead, and John Nabor with their gold. Al appeared standing in his typical laid-back assured style proudly decked with his four gold as the female voiceover announced the years he won gold: "1956, 1960, 1964..." and he casually says, "...and '68." before the woman resumes with "Discus."

Didn't know he did some painting. Now can I assume the value of his work increases.

Farewell, Al. RIP...

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This passing really bothered me. A true gentleman, a gentle giant. In the same league as such greats as Ron Clarke, Micheline Ostermeyer, Billy Mills, etc. Just went out and did what had to be done on that certain day and that was it.

A lot of people in the U.S. thought he should have lit the cauldron in Atlanta. My understanding is that he would have if they couldn't got the loudmouth up and at 'em. But watch tapes of the opening of Atlanta, or when he helped bring the Olympic Flag in at Los Angeles and you can just see the pride in his face at being included.

RIP Al - you were an inspiration. B)

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A true great in every sense of the word. You can't argue with for golds and four Olympic records. Especially back then.

Still, 71 is a good age to live to especially with the medical conditions poste above. If I live a life half as good as his and die at 71 i'll know i'll die happy.

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Like many of you, his death did trouble and saddened me. He went out and did what he did with little hype and was a class act all the way even after his active time as an athlete was up. Wish I could've met him. If I could live as rich a life as he did up to them, I know I'd be grateful at the end.

Yes, this was already linked on the immensely popular Ceremonies on YouTube posts. But in the aftermath of Al Oerter's passing, it's worth showing again. Just seeing the joy and pride in his face as an Olympic legend carrying the torch into Atlanta's Olympic Stadium (now Turner Field) passing by the loud cheers (including those who took part in the artsistic portion of the OC) into the bowels before handing it to Evander Holyfield makes this a worthwhile tribute to the man, the myth, the legend. I agree, if Ali didn't get the final honor, Oerter would've been an excellent choice.

Farewell Al, RIP

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