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Sludge 
"Charlie Don't Serf!"

United States

Posted - 03/12/2020 :  19:22:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Rafer Johnson was arguably the most famous person on earth after setting the world record score in the decathlon. After joining the only anti-discriminatory fraternity at UCLA where he would train for the Olympic games and other competitions, he and my dad became lifelong friends. My dad would become president of the fraternity. Johnson, president of the student body. Later, my dad became a key figure in assembling and pitching the successful bid for the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, and ultimately Rafer Johnson would light the flame after running the last leg of the torch relay the the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

In 1968, Johnson tackled Sirhan Sirhan (with Rosey Grier and George Plimpton) moments after the shooting of Robert F. Kennedy.

Outside of family, his greatest passion was the California Special Olympics. In more recent years, Rafer and his son have run an exercise program for Johnson's former classmates, sneaking in the wee hours onto the same field where Rafer had trained under coach Ducky Drake. I wanted to go and record these 70-80 year olds training with the great Olympian. My dad nixed this because he didn't want them to get busted. They have both passed away in 2020 after riding through a series of health challenges.

Johnson's acting career included appearances in The Sins of Rachel Cade (1961), the Elvis Presley film Wild in the Country (1961), Pirates of Tortuga (1961), None but the Brave (1965), two Tarzan films with Mike Henry, The Last Grenade (1970), Soul Soldier (1970), Roots: The Next Generations (1979), the James Bond film Licence to Kill (1989), and Think Big (1990). At UCLA he had co-trained under coach Drake with Yang Chuan-Kwang ("C. K." Yang) of Taiwan, leading up to their epic battle for the 1960 decathlon gold. This was the subject of a terrific sports documentary but I can't find it now. This youtube item contains a clip with the voiceover (the American English).

MguyX 
"X marks the spot"

United States

Posted - 04/12/2020 :  06:05:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Big Johnson stiffs death.
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lemmycaution 
"Long mired in film"

Canada

Posted - 04/12/2020 :  21:54:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A Perfect 10
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lemmycaution 
"Long mired in film"

Canada

Posted - 04/12/2020 :  22:07:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday, but I remember the 1960 Rome Olympics decathlon!
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