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Alma Richards

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameAlma Wilford•Richards
Used nameAlma•Richards
Born20 February 1890 in Parowan, Utah (USA)
Died3 April 1963 in Long Beach, California (USA)
Measurements188 cm / 84 kg
AffiliationsBYU Cougars, Provo (USA)
NOC United States


After the failure of the world record holder, George Horine, to clear 6-3¼ (1.91), Alma Richards and the German, Hans Liesche, battled it out for the 1912 Olympic high jump title. Richards cleared 6-4 (1.93) on his final attempt and, with the German failing three times, the gold medal went to the 22-year-old Brigham Young student. Richards’ Olympic victory was his major championship honor, although he won the high jump and standing broad jump at the 1919 Inter-Allied Games. An extremely versatile athlete, he won AAU titles in the high jump in 1913, the shot put in 1918, and the decathlon in 1915. He also had seven other podium finishes at the AAU in the shot put, discus throw, 56-lb weight throw for distance, 56-lb weight throw for height, and 35-lb weight throw for height. Richards later studied at Cornell, Stanford for graduate school, and Southern Cal for law school. Although he passed the California bar, he elected to become a science teacher in the Los Angeles area.

Personal Bests: HJ – 1.956 (1915); SP – 42-3¾ (12.90) (1918); Decathlon – 5,719 (1912).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Alma Richards
High Jump, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold