Bud Held was the first American to be truly world-class in the javelin throw, ranking first in the world in 1951, 1953, and 1955. He was AAU Champion in 1949, 1951, 1953-55, and 1958, and won the NCAA title for Stanford from 1948-50. In 1953 and 1955, Held broke the world javelin record, and his 1953 mark of 80.42 was the first javelin throw over 80 metres. After ranking first in the world, he was the early favorite for the 1952 Olympics, but competed that year with an injured shoulder and struggled to make the Olympic team, placing ninth at the Olympics. Held did win the 1955 Pan American Games gold medal in the javelin. At the 1956 Final Trials he finished fourth in the javelin throw and failed to qualify for the Olympics.
Held later became a successful sports equipment salesman, forming the Ektelon Company, which became known for selling racquetball racquets. He also invented a hollow javelin used in the 1960s but which was later outlawed. Held later returned to Masters competition and won several US titles. He competed in the javelin, discus, and pole vault, and set several World Masters records in the pole vault. His brother, Dick Held, was not an Olympian but formed a company that manufactured javelins and his javelins became renowned and were used by many of the world's top throwers over the next 40 years.
Personal Best: JT – 82.29 (270-0) (1956).
Athlete Olympic Results Content
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