Alvin Christian Kraenzlein (1876 - 1928) MP

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Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Death: Died
Managed by: June Barnes
Last Updated:

About Alvin Christian Kraenzlein

Alvin Christian Kraenzlein (December 12, 1876 – January 6, 1928) was an American athlete. He was the first sportsman to win four Olympic titles in a single Olympic Games. As of 2008[update], he is still the only track and field athlete to have done so in individual events only.

Kraenzlein was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, son of John Kraenzlein and Augusta, and attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison and later the University of Pennsylvania, studying to become a dentist. He won his first athletics title in 1897, when he won the 220 yards hurdles race at the Amateur Athletic Union championships. The next few years he gained many more titles, winning 5 AAU titles in both hurdling and long jump events, and 8 Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America titles in sprinting, hurdling and the long jump. Kraenzlein was especially noted for his hurdling technique, as he was the first to practice the now common method of straight-lead-leg (the first leg over the hurdle remains straight and parallel with the ground). This technique is significant in that it enables the athlete to over-come the hurdle without reducing speed.

In 1900, Kraenzlein prepared for the Olympics in England, winning the British title in the 120 yards hurdles and the long jump before entering the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris. There, he won four titles: the 60 metres, the 110 metres hurdles, the 200 metres hurdles and the long jump. In the 60 metres, he ran both the preliminary and final in 7.0 seconds, defeating Walter Tewksbury by bare inches in the final. He became the most successful athlete at the 1900 Olympics.

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