On Monday, 1968 Olympic 100m champion, U.S. sprinter Jim Hines died at age 76. Hines was once recognized as the fastest man on Earth and the first person to run the 100m dash in under 10 seconds, clocking an official time of 9.99 seconds in 1968. The cause or manner of his death was not specified.
Saying farewell to a true legend. 1946 – 2023. 🖤
The first man to break the 10 seconds barrier in the 100m sprint, Jim Hines. pic.twitter.com/Om5tGJ6Nrq
— The Olympic Games (@Olympics) June 5, 2023
Hines fell into track and field from baseball and began his athletics career in the early 60s during his time at McClymonds High School in Oakland, Calif. His most significant achievement came at the 1968 U.S. Outdoor National Track and Field Championships, where he became the first person to run the 100m in under 10 seconds, clocking an official time of 9.99 seconds.
His world record time qualified him for the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, where he went on to win a gold medal in the 100m, setting a world record time of 9.95 seconds. He also contributed to the 4x100m relay team’s gold medal victory.
Hines 100m world record stood for nearly 15 years until his mark was surpassed by fellow American Calvin Smith in 1983. His record still stands as the longest 100m record in history. The current 100m record of 9.58 seconds, held by Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, has stood for 13 years.
After his successful track career, Hines briefly played professional football for the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs. In 1969, he recorded two catches for 23 yards and had one kick return for 22 yards while with the Dolphins.
Hines went on to work with inner-city youth in Houston and was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.