Al Kraenzlein

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameAlvin Christian "Al"•Kraenzlein
Used nameAl•Kraenzlein
Born6 December 1876 in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA)
Died6 January 1928 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (USA)
Measurements183 cm / 75 kg
AffiliationsPenn Quakers, Philadelphia (USA)
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 4
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 4


At the 1900 Games Alvin Kraenzlein of the United States won the 60 metres, the 110 and 200 metre hurdles, and the long jump, and his four individual gold medals remain the unmatched record for a track & field athlete at one Games (through 2022). At the AAU Championships, Kraenzlein won the 120 yard hurdles in 1898-99, the 220 yard hurdles in 1897-99, and the long jump in 1899. He also won eight titles between 1898 and 1900 in the collegiate championships, then the IC4A, while representing Penn. He began his collegiate career at the University of Wisconsin, but transferred to Penn after the 1897 season.

Kraenzlein’s pioneering technique of straight-leg hurdling brought him two world hurdle records in addition to his five world records in the long jump. The long jump records were all set in 1899, three in April at the Penn Relays, and two in May at the IC4A Championships.

His great rival was the Syracuse athlete, Meyer Prinstein. At the 1900 Paris Olympics Prinstein led after the qualifying round, but refused to compete in the finals because they were held on Sunday. He lost when Kraenzlein jumped one centimetre farther in the final. Prinstein was so upset by Kraenzlein’s action that he supposedly assaulted him and punched him.

Although a qualified dentist, Kraenzlein never practiced, preferring to become a track coach, notably of the German and Cuban national teams and at the University of Michigan, and after World War I, at his alma mater, Penn, where he served until his death from pleurisy.

Personal Bests: 60 – unknown; 100 – 10.8 (1900); 120yH – 15.2 (1898); 220yH – 23.6 (1898); LJ – 24-4½ (7.43) (1899).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1900 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Al Kraenzlein
60 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
100 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
110 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
200 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
400 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) DNS
Long Jump, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold


DOB 12 December 1876 which is seen in many places is wrong. There is also conflicting evidence on his POB with Milwaukee, Wisconsin seen in several documents but Minneapolis, Minnesota seems to have more documentary evidence.