- Track and Field
- Fred Hansen
Few athletes have been as dedicated in the pursuit of excellence as Fred Hansen. As a Rice senior competing for the last time, and with an opportunity to set a Southwest Conference pole vault record that would have stood for years, Fred sacrificed himself. He volunteered for broad jump and javelin duty to help Rice win the conference. He picked up points in both events but he hurt a muscle in his back throwing the javelin. That affected his vaulting and kept him from winning first place. Track and field followers remember the former Rice athlete for his gold medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics when he pole-vaulted 16 feet 8 3/4 inches and later for his world record, when he became the second man in history to vault higher than 17 feet. Amazingly, he surpassed that mark three times in four weeks, and in a dual meet with the Russians, he vaulted 17 feet 4 inches. Hansen was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1967 at the age of 26, becoming one of its youngest inductees.