Heritage - Al Oerter Plaque
Plaque name: Al Oerter (USA)
Location: Al Oerter Recreation Center, 131-40 Fowler Ave, Flushing, NY 11355, USA
Plaque awarded: 14/07/2022
Reason: Plaque Category – Legend
Oerter’s status as one of the icons of our sport is unchallenged as one of only two athletes to win four consecutive Olympic titles in the same event.
He is considered by many pundits to be the greatest ever exponent of discus throwing not least for his longevity and ability to peak for the Olympics.
His quartet of triumphs – which apart from 1960 could be said to be against the odds – were achieved with four successive Olympic records and, memorably, his 1964 victory came with him wearing a neck brace and fighting the pain from torn rib cartilage.
Between 1962 and 1964, Oerter also set four discus world records and between 1956 and 1966 he topped the Track and Field News annual rankings – then the unofficial world rankings – for the discus on six occasions. During his career, he featured in the top 10 of these rankings on no less than 14 occasions.
In 1980, at the age of 43 and having returned to the sport in 1977 after having initially retired following his win at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, Oerter threw a personal best of 69.46m which still ranks him in the top 10 American throwers of all-time.