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Mel Sheppard

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 4
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 5
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameMelvin Winfield "Mel"•Sheppard
Used nameMel•Sheppard
Born5 September 1883 in Almonesson Lake, New Jersey (USA)
Died4 January 1942 in Queens, New York, New York (USA)
Measurements177 cm / 67 kg
AffiliationsI-AAC, Queens, New York (USA)
NOC(s) United States

Biography

As a dedicated frontrunner Mel Sheppard had a great influence on the development of middle distance running. In both his Olympic 800 m finals he led the field at the half-way mark, running 53.0 in 1908 and 52.4 in 1912. In London a second 400 m of 59.4 was good enough to take Sheppard to the Olympic gold medal in a new world record of 1:52.4, but in Stockholm his 59.6 second lap failed to match the finishing speed of Ted Meredith, who removed from Sheppard his Olympic title and world record. To his gold medal for the 800 m in London, Sheppard added Olympic victories in the 1,500 m and the medley relay and won a fourth gold medal in 1912 as a member of the 1,600 m relay team. Mel Sheppard won the AAU 880y in 1906-08 and 1911-12, and was the Canadian 880y champion in those years. Sheppard was educated at Brown Prep School and, having been rejected by the New York police because of a weak heart, he entered the employ of John Wanamaker in 1913 and served as the recreational director of the Millrose AA for many years.

Personal Bests: 400 – 48.8 (1912); 800 – 1:52.0 (1912); 1500 – 4:01.2 (1912).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1904 Summer Olympics Athletics 880 yards, Boys Olympic (non-medal) 1 Representing United States    
  880 yards, Boys Olympic (non-medal) 1
  880 yards, Men Olympic (non-medal) 1
  1 mile, Boys Olympic (non-medal) 1
  1 mile, Boys Olympic (non-medal) 1
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics 400 metres, Men Olympic DNS Representing United States    
  800 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  1,600 metres Medley Relay, Men Olympic United States 1 Gold
1912 Summer Olympics Athletics 400 metres, Men Olympic 2 h3 r2/3 Representing United States    
  800 metres, Men Olympic 2 Silver
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic AC
  4 × 400 metres Relay, Men Olympic United States 1 Gold

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1908 Summer Olympics 13 July 1908 Athletics 1,500 metres, Men Round One, Heat Two 4:05.0 1
1908 Summer Olympics 14 July 1908 Athletics 1,500 metres, Men Final 4:03.4 1
1908 Summer Olympics 21 July 1908 Athletics 800 metres, Men Final 1:52.8 WR 1
1912 Summer Olympics 15 July 1912 Athletics 4 × 400 metres Relay, Men Final 3:16.6 WR 1