Sport: Moscow's Hero

He had just whipped Soviet Decathlon Hero Vasily Kuznetsov, but the husky U.S. Negro got a brotherly buss from the loser and a tremendous roar of approval from the 30,000 fans, as he mounted the winner's platform in Moscow's Lenin Stadium and smilingly held a bouquet of flowers aloft in triumph. Rafer Lewis Johnson, 22, of Kingsburg, Calif, had treated appreciative Muscovites to one of the greatest individual performances in track and field history. He had amassed a world-record 8,302 points in the rugged decathlon*—:considered by many the toughest test of human endurance...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!