Garland Simeon "Sim" Iness - USA, Discus gold medalist 1952 Olympics - El Camino College Compton Center, Porterville College
Sim Iness first attended college at Compton College, now El Camino College Compton Center, where he won the National Junior College discus championship in 1949. He also was a member of the winning Compton football squad along with future NFL Hall of Famer "Hurricane" Hugh McElhenny, which won the 1948 Junior Rose Bowl game, becoming National Junior College champions. He then transferred to the University of Southern California where he won the NCAA discus championship in 1952 and 1953.
Iness won gold in the discus in 1952 Summer Olympics held in Helsinki, Finland with a throw of 180.5 feet. His gold medal triumph started the longest USA winning streak in the discus event in modern Olympic history. He set the discus world record on June 28, 1953 in Lincoln, Neb. at 190.05 feet and became the first man to throw farther than 190 feet.
He went on to appear in two Hollywood films, "Lady Godiva of Coventry" with Maureen O'Hara and "Sign of the Pagan" with Jack Palance and Jeff Chandler, both in 1954. He was an Olympic torch bearer for the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics.
At Tulare Union High School, Iness was a classmate then Olympic teammate with decathlon champion Bob Mathias. Weeks after his high school graduation, and on his 18th birthday, Iness placed sixth in the discus in the 1948 Olympic Trials.
After his 1952 Olympic and world record triumph, Iness worked the rest of his life as a high school and college physical education teacher, track and football coach, and education counselor. He retired from teaching and counseling at Porterville College in 1994 and passed away two years later.
Iness is a member of the 2012 class of the California Community College Sports Hall of Fame. The hall of fame is the highest honor bestowed in California community college athletics. In addition to the California Community College Sports Hall of Fame, Iness is also a member of the Tartar Athletics Hall of Fame, Tulare High School Redskin Hall of Fame, Northern California Track and Field Hall of Fame, International World Throwers Congress Hall of Fame and the University of Southern California Athletic Hall of Fame.
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