Class of 1922
Clarence “Bud” Houser overcame difficult beginnings growing up in Missouri to become arguably the world’s greatest thrower in the mid-late 1920s – starting with an epic prep career at Oxnard HS in California. He was “Athlete of the Meet” at the California state meet his sophomore, junior and senior years (1920-22), sweeping shot put and discus with new state records on each occasion.
Houser reached HS records of 56-3 with the prep shot put (12 lb.), 46-11.75 with the international shot (16 lb.), and 147-0.25 with the international discus during his career – records lasting two, four and ten years, respectively. He won five prep and AAU national titles while in high school and performed at a high enough level among the elites that he world-ranked 4th in the discus and shot in 1921, and 4th and 7th in those respective events in 1922.
Houser’s early experience with the international implements served him well as he continued to mature and, in the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris at the age of 22, he claimed gold medal in both the shot put and the discus – something no other athlete has accomplished in the 95 years since! During the following years, Houser zeroed in on the discus, winning 3 U.S. titles (1925-26, 1928) and then setting a world record in 1926, and defended his Olympic gold with the platter in Amsterdam in 1928. He was later named to the National (USATF) Track and Field Hall of Fame, as he went on to become a successful dentist and lived into his 90s.
Did You Know?
Bud Houser was the flag-bearer for the United States in the Opening Ceremonies of his second Olympic Games, in Amsterdam in 1928.