Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Track and Field
Inducted: 1984
Country: United States
Born: June 23, 1892 in New York, New York
Died: August 24, 1992

Abel Kiviat won a silver medal at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games in the 1,500-Meter Run (3:59.9). A one-time roommate of Jim Thorpe, the 1912 Games’ pentathlon and decathlon gold
medalist, Kiviat was the oldest living American Olympian at the time of his death.

One of the great middle-distance runners in the world prior to World
War I, Kiviat at one point simultaneously held World Indoor records in the 600-Yard, 1,000-Yard, and One-Mile events—the only person in history to accomplish that feat.

Kiviat established his first World record while still a high school student. In 1909, he registered 2:47.2 in the Two-Thirds Mile Run. The previous mark had stood for 21 years.

On June 2, 1912, Kiviat broke the World record in the 1,500-meters, clocking 3.56.8. Six days later, he lowered that record to 3:55.8 at the U.S. Olympic trials. That mark stood as a World record for six years and as a U.S. record until 1928.

Kiviat won nine U.S. National Championships between 1911 and
1914, at distances from 600 Yards to Cross Country. Also, during that time, he won the Baxter Mile at the New York Athletic Club Games, the most important mile event in America.

He established himself as one of the great indoor distance runners of all-time in 1911, when the 5'5", 110-pound trackster won both the U.S. Amateur Athletic Union 600-Yard and 1,000-Yard Indoor Championships. It was the first time “the double” had ever been achieved.

In 1913, he repeated the unique feat, this time capturing
both victories on the same night! That same year, he demonstrated his versatility by winning the American Six-Mile Cross Country title and establishing the U.S. Indoor One-Mile record of 4:18.2.

In 1985, Kiviat was inducted into the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame.


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