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Wayne Collett

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWayne Curtis•Collett
Used nameWayne•Collett
Born20 October 1949 in Los Angeles, California (USA)
Died17 March 2010 in Los Angeles, California (USA)
Measurements188 cm / 84 kg
AffiliationsUCLA Bruins, Los Angeles (USA)
NOC United States


Wayne Collett of UCLA emerged as a world class one-lap runner in 1968 when he had five sub-46.0 marks. His fastest run of the year was in the quarter finals of the Final Trials, where he ran 44.9, but the effort of this run following a 45.6 heat led him to drop out in the semi-finals. In 1972, Collett was a surprise winner of the Final Trials, beating John Smith, Vince Matthews, and Lee Evans in a new personal best of 44.1. Matthews took his revenge in the Olympic final and beat Collett to the tape by some two meters. Collett and Matthews became best known for their behavior on the medal podium when they stood relaxed, arms akimbo, jackets open, paying little heed to the national anthem, which caused the IOC to ban them for life from Olympic competition.

Collett earned an MBA in 1973 and a JD degree in 1977 – both from UCLA, and later worked as a lawyer, and in the real estate and mortgage business, often assisting poor and under-represented minorities obtain real estate and mortgage loans denied to them by many lenders. In 1992 Collett was elected to the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame. He later died from complications of nasopharyngeal cancer.

Personal Bests: 100y – 9.6 (1971); 200 – 20.2 (1968); 400 – 44.1 (1972); 880y – 1:52.6 (1971).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Wayne Collett
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) United States DNS

Olympic family relations