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Jack Beckner

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameJohn Gilbert "Jack"•Beckner
Used nameJack•Beckner
Born9 June 1930 in Los Angeles, California (USA)
Died16 November 2016 in Studio City, California (USA)
Measurements183 cm / 77 kg
AffiliationsUSC Trojans, Los Angeles (USA)
NOC United States

Biography

Jack Beckner was considered the greatest American male gymnast of the 1950s, competing for the US at the 1952, 1956, and 1960 Olympics. His greatest tournament was certainly the 1955 Pan American Games where Beckner set an all-time Games record by winning 11 gold medals, including the individual and team all-around, three individual apparatus golds, and golds in all six team apparatus events. Beckner added six more medals at the 1959 Pan Am Games, with four golds, one silver, and one bronze, for a Pan American total of 15 gold medals, and 17 medals in all. The 15 gold medals is the second most all-time, trailing only Cuban gymnast Eric López, who has 18. His 17 medals is the second most by an American, trailing only gymnast Abie Grossfeld.

At the AAU, Beckner was US all-around champion in 1956-59, won the high bar in 1958 and 1960; and the parallel bars in 1953, 1956, and 1958-59; the floor exercise in 1955, and the pommeled horse in 1959. Beckner competed at Southern Cal where he won three NCAA titles, including the 1952 all-around and 1951-52 parallel bars. He later became the long-time coach at his alma mater (1957-81). Beckner also served as a judge at the national and international level. He taught middle school and high school for many years. He also coached at Southern Cal, leading them to the 1960 NCAA team title. He is a member of the USC Athletic Hall of Fame, the National Judges’ Cumiskey Hall of Fame in 1989, and the US Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1976.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1952 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) USA Jack Beckner
Individual All-Around, Men (Olympic) 81
Team All-Around, Men (Olympic) United States 8
Floor Exercise, Men (Olympic) =84
Horse Vault, Men (Olympic) =87
Parallel Bars, Men (Olympic) =81
Horizontal Bar, Men (Olympic) 59
Rings, Men (Olympic) 160
Pommelled Horse, Men (Olympic) =88
1956 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) USA Jack Beckner
Individual All-Around, Men (Olympic) 17
Team All-Around, Men (Olympic) United States 6
Floor Exercise, Men (Olympic) =16
Horse Vault, Men (Olympic) =7
Parallel Bars, Men (Olympic) 15
Horizontal Bar, Men (Olympic) 7
Rings, Men (Olympic) 31
Pommelled Horse, Men (Olympic) 25
1960 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) USA Jack Beckner
Individual All-Around, Men (Olympic) 25
Team All-Around, Men (Olympic) United States 5
Floor Exercise, Men (Olympic) =35 r1/2
Horse Vault, Men (Olympic) =46 r1/2
Parallel Bars, Men (Olympic) =26 r1/2
Horizontal Bar, Men (Olympic) =22 r1/2
Rings, Men (Olympic) =55 r1/2
Pommelled Horse, Men (Olympic) =18 r1/2

Olympic family relations

Special Notes