Former Olympic champion Wilbur Thompson dies

Updated: December 31, 2013, 8:32 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Wilbur "Moose" Thompson, the shot put winner in the 1948 London Olympics, has died. He was 92.

Thompson died on Christmas, according to a statement Tuesday from the University of Southern California, where he was a member of the school's 1942 NCAA championship track and field team. No cause of death was given.

At the London Games, Thompson won the shot put with a career-best mark of 56 feet, 2 inches, breaking the Olympic record by more than 3 feet.

After winning national shot put titles in 1939 and 1940 while attending Modesto (Calif.) Junior College, Thompson enrolled at USC. His career there was interrupted when he served in the Army during World War II. He was second in the shot put at the 1946 NCAA meet after placing fifth in 1942.

Born in Frankfort, S.D., Thompson attended high school in Modesto, Calif. He won the state high school shot put title in the late 1930s. He was given the nickname "Moose" when he grew to 6 feet and 200 pounds as a sophomore.

A Long Beach resident since 1953, he worked in the oil business and later with the California State Lands Commission.

He is survived by three daughters.

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index



Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.