Forrest Smithson

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameForrest Custer•Smithson
Used nameForrest•Smithson
Born26 September 1884 in Portland, Oregon (USA)
Died24 November 1962 in Contra Costa County, California (USA)
Measurements183 cm / 81 kg
AffiliationsMultnomah AC, Portland (USA)
NOC United States


Forrest Smithson attended both Notre Dame and Oregon State (then Oregon Agricultural College), but did not graduate from either school. He later became a Baptist minister and supposedly won the 1908 Olympic high hurdles carrying a Bible in his hand as a protest against Sunday competition. However, this claim, based on a posed picture in the Official Report of the Olympics, is false. The final of the race was held on a Saturday, and Sunday racing was uncommon in Britain at the time. Smithson won the AAU title in 1907 and 1909 and his winning time of 15.0 at the 1908 Olympic was recognized as the first official IAAF record.

Personal Bests: 100 – 11.2 (1968); 110H – 15.0 (1908).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Forrest Smithson
100 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
110 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold