Vince Matthews

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameVincent Edward "Vince"•Matthews
Used nameVince•Matthews
Born16 December 1947 in Queens, New York, New York (USA)
Measurements187 cm / 81 kg
AffiliationsBOHAA Club
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 2


After an impressive 1967 season, which included a 45.0 for 400 m as well as a gold medal in the 4×400 m relay (with Lee Evans and the non-Olympians Emmett Taylor and Albert Stinson) and a silver medal in the 400 m at the Pan American Games, Vince Matthews set a world record of 44.4 in 1968 although the mark was never ratified because Matthews was wearing illegal brush spikes. Because he finished fourth at the 1968 Final Trials he only made the relay team for the Mexico Olympics, where the U.S. took the gold medals and set a world record of 2:56.16. Matthews retired after the 1968 Olympics but made a comeback in 1972, and after finishing third at the Final Trials, pulled off a surprise win in the Olympic final.

Matthews missed a chance for another medal when the USA was unable to field a team for 4×400 m after Matthews and Wayne Collett were banned from future Olympic competition for their behavior during the medal ceremony for the individual 400 m. They refused to stand at attention during the national anthem and openly conversed as it played. They later stated they did it as a protest against the treatment of blacks in the United States.

Matthews later owned an antique store in Mount Vernon, New York, along with his wife. He was elected to the US Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2011.

Personal Bests: 200 – 20.7 (1972); 400 – 44.66 (1972).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1968 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Vince Matthews
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) United States 1 Gold
1972 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Vince Matthews
400 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 × 400 metres Relay, Men (Olympic) United States DNS

Special Notes