Randy Matson

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameJames Randel "Randy"•Matson
Used nameRandy•Matson
Born5 March 1945 in Kilgore, Texas (USA)
Measurements200 cm / 120 kg
AffiliationsHouston Striders, Houston (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 2


After failing by a narrow margin to defeat Dallas Long at the 1964 Olympics, Randy Matson enjoyed a comfortable win at the 1968 Games. In 1964, as a freshman at Texas A&M, he also won the first of his six AAU shot titles and at the NCAA championships he scored a shot/discus double in 1966-67. He also won the shot at the 1965 NCAA indoor and the 1967 Pan American Games. Matson officially improved the world shot record twice culminating with a mark of 71-5½ (21.78) in April 1967. Earlier in the month he threw the discus 213-9 (65.15) which was then only two and one-half inches off the world record. When Matson set his first world record of 70-7¼ (21.52) in May 1965, he became the first man to break the 70-foot barrier. He also had three other marks which surpassed the world record but were not ratified. Before retiring he came close to making the Olympic team for a third time when he placed fourth at the 1972 Final Trials.

Personal Bests: SP – 71-5½ (21.78) (1967); DT – 213-9 (65.15 (1967).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1964 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Randy Matson
Shot Put, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Randy Matson
Shot Put, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold

Special Notes