Gold-medal Olympian and world-record holder

August 13, 2012

Beginning his outstanding career in track and field while at CU, William Toomey (Jour’62) was one of the nation’s top five hurdlers, winning five consecutive AAU pentathlon titles between 1960 and 1964, an achievement that has not been matched.

His strongest event was the 400-meter, a record he still holds in the decathlon competition. Toomey won his first decathlon Olympic gold at the 1968 Games in Mexico City. In 1969 he broke two world records, one in the decathlon, a record he held for nearly three years, and the other for the pentathlon, which still stands.

After his Olympic athletic career, Toomey worked on the U.S. Olympic Committee as a director for fundraising, helping build the training center in San Diego, co-founding the World Olympian Association where he worked closely with the Peace Corps developing international programs.

He has been accepted into numerous halls of fame, has visited over 70 countries, and is a known broadcast personality and motivational speaker. Since retiring from his athletic career, Toomey continues to work out every day doing sit-ups and going for a run, not a jog, which he calls “boring."

Article and photo courtesy of the CU Heritage Center

Give FeedbackSee More Photos View Photo