If you search for Ralph Boston on the internet, you’ll find worldwide coverage of his athletic feats.  As some know, Jesse Owens held the record for the long jump for 25 years by 1960.  The person known for breaking Jesse Owens’s long jump record is Ralph Boston.  From 1960 to 1967, Ralph ranked number one in the world in the long jump.  In addition, he was selected as “World Athlete of the Year” and “North American Athlete of the Year.”
So who is Ralph Boston and what led up to his amazing record?  Ralph Boston attended Tennessee State University and in 1960, he won the national collegiate long jump title.  Then he was named to the United States Olympic team and during pre-Olympic competition, he broke the long jump recorded by jumping an astounding 26 feet, 11 1/4 inches.
Ralph’s list of medals is impressive.  He won the Gold Medal during the summer Olympic Games.  In the 1964 games, he won the silver medal in the long jump then in 1968 during the Olympic Games, Boston won a bronze medal.
After retiring from competition, Ralph began coaching and working as an expert commentator for track and field. Ralph’s athletic expertise translated to his coaching abilities as well. For example, Chandra Cheeseborough remembers Ralph Boston, “Ralph Boston was my coach at college.  I first moved to Houston, Texas but the coach left, so I decided to move to Knoxville, Tennessee, to train with Ralph Boston. In 84 games, I have won 2 golds and a silver.  The silver came in the 400 meters, and the 2 golds came in the 4 by 1 and the 4 by 4 relay.  I really look up to Ralph.  He was a very hard coach and always made me practice with the guys, but I didn’t regret it because it made me a better athlete.”
In addition, his friend Coach Carter relates, “I was a new coach and he just encouraged me.  He told me to keep my head up, have a good work ethic and the importance of character and integrity.  He is a great individual.  He is a very genuine person.  He says what he means and means what he says.” 

Ralph Boston trained at Tennessee State University in the long jump which eventually led to an Olympic Gold Medal.  Even today his name is remembered in the event known as the Boston Track Meet.
Ralph earned his master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and served as a sportscaster for ESPN.  Ralph Boston continued receiving various awards in the 70’s and 80’s.  Today Ralph resides in Atlanta.

Now, when someone asks you who broke Jesse Owens’s long jump record---you’ll know the answer.

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