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Billy Olson

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameBilly Richard•Olson
Used nameBilly•Olson
Born19 July 1958 in Abilene, Texas (USA)
Measurements188 cm / 73 kg
AffiliationsMazda Optimist Track Club, Toronto (CAN)
NOC United States


Billy Olson was a pole vaulter who was considered one of the greatest indoor vaulters of the 1980s, but he never translated that success outdoors. He competed for Abilene Christian University. Between 1982-86 Olson set 11 world indoor records in the pole vault, including February 1983 when he cleared 5.80 metres at a meet in Toronto, the first clearance of 19-feet or more indoors.

Olson’s best outdoor international result was a bronze at the 1981 World Cup. He was US Champion in 1981-82, twice finishing second, and three times third. He set two American records outdoors, in March and June 1982, and that year he was world ranked #1. Olson was inducted into the Texas Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame in 2012.

Personal Best: PV – 5.93i (1986).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1988 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Billy Olson
Pole Vault, Men (Olympic) 12