Monday, April 23, 2007

Parry O'Brien, 75; Revolutionized Shot Put

Parry O'Brien, whose fascination with the shotput and physics fueled a career in which he held the world record from 1953 to 1959 and won two gold medals and a silver medal in four Olympic games, has died. He was 75.O'Brien, who revolutionized the sport by devising a new throwing technique, died Saturday while participating in a masters' swim meet in Santa Clarita. His wife, Terry, with whom he lived in the Rancho Belago section of Moreno Valley, said he had suffered a heart attack.

At his peak, O'Brien won 116 consecutive competitions. He was the first shotputter to exceed 60 feet and extended the world record from 59 feet, 3/4 inch in 1953 to 63 feet, 4 inches in 1959, raising it 16 times.

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