Ralph Hill

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameRalph Anthony•Hill
Used nameRalph•Hill
Born26 December 1908 in Klamath Falls, Oregon (USA)
Died17 October 1994 in Klamath Falls, Oregon (USA)
Measurements180 cm / 66 kg
AffiliationsOlympic Club, San Francisco (USA)
NOC United States


In 1930, Ralph Hill of the University of Oregon surprised the track world by setting a new American mile record of 4:12.4 in Oregon’s dual meet against Washington. By 1932, though, he had moved up to the 5,000 m and took the AAU title in 14:55.7. Three weeks later the virtual unknown took on the recognized masters of distance running, the Finns. Hill matched strides with the great Lauri Lehtinen and Lauri Virtanen throughout the 1932 Olympic 5,000 m, and although Virtanen was dropped in the closing laps, Hill waged a great battle with Lehtinen in the home straight. In the desperation of the struggle, Lehtinen changed course as the finish approached and impeded Hill. An official protest was overruled, although the decision was not unanimous, and Hill settled for the silver medal. The uproar in the LA Coliseum over this prompted public address announcer Bill Henry to caution the crowd, “Please remember, these people are our guests!”. Hill magnanimously refused to lodge a protest against Lehtinen.

Personal Best: 5000 – 14:30.0 (1932).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1932 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Ralph Hill
5,000 metres, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver