Oregon's first Olympic gold medalist returns to Hayward Field

Former Oregon Duck track star Otis Davis returned to campus this weekend to celebrate the 60th anniversary of his 1960 Olympic gold medal.

Posted: Sep 6, 2020 8:21 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2020 10:33 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- There are several former Oregon Duck track and field stars who have stood on top of the highest podium, winning one of the greatest honors; an Olympic gold medal.

The first Duck to win gold, 88 year-old Otis Davis returned to campus on Friday.

"There's not many people in this world like me," Davis said.

Davis returned to campus to celebrate the 60th anniversary of winning the gold at the 1960 Summer Olympic games in Rome. He broke the then world record in the 400 meter race.

"I figured I was going to be able to do something, but I didn't know it would come close to this," he said. "But I always kept believing. Sometimes it didn't come true and sometimes dreams do come true. Mine just happened to be coming true."

Davis was a member of the men's basketball team before joining track. He was 26 years old as a freshman, fresh out of stint with the Air Force. He couldn't believe the change and renovations across campus.

"This is a different world," he said. "There can't be many more campuses better than this."

Davis is one of the silhouettes engraved in the giant tower at the newly constructed Hayward Field.

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