Fortune Gordien

Fortune Gordien

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Fortune Gordien
Height 6'0" (184 cm)
Weight 229 lbs (104 kg)
Nationality United States
PR DT – 59.28 (1953)
Born September 9, 1922 at Spokane, WA
Died April 10, 1990 at Fontana, CA
College University of Minnesota
Club Southern California Striders

Fortune Everett Gordien (1922 – 1990) was an American athlete who competed mainly in the discus throw and set four world records.

Gordien first topped the world ranking list in 1947. He competed for the United States in the 1948 Summer Olympics held in London, Great Britain in the discus throw where he won the bronze medal behind two Italians, Adolfo Consolini and Giuseppe Tosi. He failed to medal in the 1952 Olympics but won a silver medal, behind the great Al Oerter, in the 1956 Summer Olympics held in Melbourne, Australia.

According to the Guinness Book of Track and Field: Facts and Feats, the smallest crowd ever to see a world record may have been 48, the number attending a Pasadena, California all-comers meet in 1953 when Fortune Gordien broke the discus record. His mark of 194 feet 6 inches lasted as the world record for ten years.[1] He also won a gold medal in the Discus at the 1955 Pan American Games.

He won six AAU titles and while at the University of Minnesota he was a three time NCAA champion. He posted a new world record four times, finishing with a throw of 194-6 (59.28) at Pasadena in August 1953. This was the best mark of his career but in 1960, as a 38-year-old, he was still capable of 187-10 (57.25).

He was also an accomplished shot putter, placing second in the 1947 AAU and third in the NCAA with a mark of 54-2¼ (16.51), which was the fifth best mark in the world that year.

Gordien later became a cattle rancher in Oregon.

Gordien was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1979.

External links


  1. "Fortune Gordien, Discus Thrower, 67" (April 14, 1990), The New York Times