Former decathlete and Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson was a keynote speaker for the Huntsman World Senior Games grand opening ceremony that occurred on October 6 and began at 7 p.m.. There will also be the regular traditional ceremony that begins with a parade of athletes, singing and dancing, and the lighting of the cauldron. Afterwards there will be a fireworks show that will officially kick the competition off, which is the world’s largest annual multi sport event for both men and women over the age of 50. Over 73 different countries were represented at the Huntsman Senior Games, and this year there was over 28 different events being played. Johnson’s speech ended up being a great way for everyone to get the ball rolling.
The Hillsboro, Texas native was always a very versatile athlete as he played multiple sports during his high school years. He ended up attending the University of California in Los Angeles in 1954 and impressed everyone with his abilities as he broke the world record in just his fourth track meet. He trained and went to the 1960 Rome Olympics where he won the gold medal in the Decathlon event, and also took on a acting role in the movie “Spartacus” due to being told about it by Kirk Douglas.
The Olympian spoke at this year’s Huntsman World Senior Games and was the first to cheer on all of the participants that attended earlier in October.
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Watch Rafer Johnson Speaking on the 2015 Special Olympics World Games: