Tom Courtney

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 2
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameThomas William "Tom"•Courtney
Used nameTom•Courtney
Born17 August 1933 in Newark, New Jersey (USA)
Measurements188 cm / 81 kg
AffiliationsUS Air Force, (USA)
NOC United States


Tom Courtney was a worthy successor to Mal Whitfield for both speed and consistency He won the NCAA 880y in 1955 and the AAU in 1957 and 1958. Courtney was also the top 400 m man in the world in 1956 and won the AAU in 45.6. In 1957 he set a new world 880y record of 1:46.8 and the following year he came within one tenth of a second of the world 800 m record. He won the 1956 Final Trials in a new American record of 1:46.4 and then went on to set a new Olympic record of 1:47.7 in winning the Melbourne final. Courtney won a second Olympic gold with a 45.7 anchor leg in the 4×400 metres relay. He was also a notable indoor performer and in 1957 he tied Whitfield’s world record of 1:09.5 for 600y and set three world records for the 880y on a flat indoor track. Courtney later became an attorney and worked as a corporate lawyer.

Personal Bests: 400 – 45.8 (1956); 800 – 1:45.8 (1957).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Tom Courtney
800 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold