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“RIP Legend”: Fans Mourn Saddening Demise of Ex-Chiefs WR Who Was the First Man to Run 100 Meters in Less Than 10 Seconds

Published 06/06/2023, 12:52 PM EDT

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Before there was a Usain Bolt, there was a Jim Hines. While Bolt is the current world record holder in the 100m, Hines, was the first man to run the 100m in under 10 seconds (9.9s) at the US Championships in 1968. However, that record was hand timed and had to be adjusted to 10.03 when measured by the electronic timer. But Hines left all doubts in the dust as he ran an electronically measured 9.95s at the Mexico Olympics the same year, firmly establishing himself as the first man to break the 10-second barrier. Sadly, on June 3, 2023, Jim Hines, at 76, breathed his last.

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Hines transitioned from sprinting to football shortly after the 1968 Olympics. The Miami Dolphins, picked him in the sixth round of the 1968 NFL Draft, soon after his Olympic gold glory. However, football was a tiny blip in his extremely fruitful and remarkable life and career. The significance of the 10-second barrier might have decreased now, but Hines coveted himself a page in track and field history that day.

1968 was a big year for Hines


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With his Olympic glory also came a world record that would stay unmatched for 15 years. Hines’ 9.95s record lasted for 15 years until it was broken by Calvin Smith in 1983. Jim Hines has two Olympic gold medals to his name, and he earned a place in the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1979. His performance in Sacramento further fueled his desire to clinch that Gold in Mexico. When The Oakland Tribune asked him if he thought he would win at the Olympics, he said, “Yeah, for sure.” And win, he did.

Hines transitioned to football the same year, and in doing so gave up any future shot at the Olympics. A legend in the history of sprinting, Jim Hines couldn’t translate his success on the track to the gridiron. He accumulated a measly 52 all-purpose yards in ten games and was traded to the Chiefs in 1970. However, he only had the ball in his hands a couple of times, earning him the nickname “Oops.” Hines left an indelible mark on track&field and will forever be etched in the sport’s history as a shining star. After stepping away from sports, he devoted himself to helping inner-city youth in Houston.


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Fans marked their sorrow on his passing. One fan wrote: “At the age of 76, Jim Hines has passed away. He is known as the first man to officially break 10 seconds – 9.95s – over 100m, a feat he accomplished while winning GOLD at the 1968 Olympics!”

Remembering his legacy, one fan wrote: “Rest In Power Mr. Hines. The 1968 USA Olympic Track and Field Team was just legendary.”

Another fan wrote & expressed deep sorrow, “RIP Legend. Must have been an insane atmosphere for those who witnessed the 10-second barrier being broken.” Jim Hines was a rare talent who dazzled the world with his speed and versatility. While he will be remembered for all his contributions and achievement in the sport, he will also be remembered for the strange anecdote involving his Olympic Golds.


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The tale of stolen gold medals

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Reportedly, soon after his triumphant return from the Olympics, Hines faced a heartbreaking loss when burglars snatched his gold medals from his Houston home. He appealed to the public through a local newspaper ad, hoping for their safe recovery. To his relief, he found them in a plain brown envelope that was mailed to him anonymously.


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Hines was born in a place called Dumas in Arkansas but grew up in Oakland, California, and his parents took care of his skills and interests. Later on, Hines and his wife Patricia uprooted their lives and moved to Houston, Texas, along with his wife (Patricia) and their children called Jason and Jasmine. In Houston, he focused his time and energy on aiding inner-city youth in accomplishing their dreams. Jim Hines will forever live in the hearts of all.

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Mohammad Asif Ansari

652 articles

Mohammad Asif Ansari is an NFL writer at EssentiallySports, with a passion for bringing sports news to life through engaging content. As an ardent sports fan, Ansari likes to cover core sports angles. His latest article, “Dallas Cowboys Reportedly Making It Difficult for Aaron Rodgers to Pursue His Dream Team” got a hoard of interested sports readers.

Edited By: Nidhi