Dwight Stones

Dwight Stones

Dwight Stones
Stones (right) interviews Xavier Carter and Kelly Willie of LSU.
Personal information
Nationality  United States
Born (1953-12-06) December 6, 1953
Los Angeles, California
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)[1]
Weight 172 lb (78 kg)[2]
Sport Track and field
Event(s) High jump
College team Long Beach State 49ers
UCLA Bruins
Updated on 9 June 2013.

Dwight Edwin Stones (born December 6, 1953) is an American television commentator and a two-time Olympic bronze medalist and former three-time world record holder in the men's high jump. During his 16-year career, he won 19 national championships. In 1984, Stones became the first athlete to both compete and serve as an announcer at the same Olympics. Since then, he has been a color analyst for all three major networks in the United States and continues to cover track and field on television. He served as an analyst for NBC Sports coverage of Track and Field at the 2008 Summer Olympics.[3]


  • Biography 1
  • Olympic competition 2
  • Professionalism 3
  • Records held 4
  • Championships 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Born in Los Angeles, California,[4][5] Stones set a national high school record in 1971 at 2.17 m (7 ft 1 12 in),[1] then won the bronze medal at age 18 at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany. He set his first world record the following summer when he cleared 2.30 m (7 ft 6 12 in), also at Munich.[6] That jump also made him the first "flop" jumper to set a world record, five years after Dick Fosbury made that style famous while winning the gold medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Stones raised the world record to 2.31 m (7 ft 7 in) in 1976 at the NCAA Championships at Franklin Field in Philadelphia in June,[7] and added another centimeter to the record two months later.

Stones attended UCLA his freshman year (1971–72), and later transferred to Long Beach State for a year and a half,[1] and is a member of that university's hall of fame.

In 1998, Stones was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. He was a 1991 inductee into the Orange County Hall of Fame.[8]

Olympic competition

Stones was one of the world's top high jumpers from 1972 to 1984 and has been twice named the World Indoor Athlete of the Year by Track & Field News. At age 18 during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, he took the bronze medal in the high jump behind Jüri Tarmak and Stefan Junge. At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal, he was a heavy favorite to win the gold medal. Earlier, he finished second at the U.S. Olympic Trials, then had to settle for another Olympic bronze behind Jacek Wszola and Greg Joy when his jumping ability was hampered by competition in the rain.[9] A few days later in Philadelphia, he raised the world record to 2.32 m (7 ft 7 12 in) in dry conditions at Franklin Field.[10]

His participation at the Montreal Games sparked a heated debate, in which he supposedly said he hated French Canadians (Montréal-Matin Newspaper, July 29, 1976, pages 5 and 8). This produced raucous boos during the whole competition, and the debate became so inflamed that he decided on a new tee-shirt for the day of the finals. The back of his shirt read, "I love French Canadians."[9]

He returned to the Olympics at age 30 in [11] at the U.S. Olympic Trials on June 24.


In the transitional time when amateur sports were beginning to break the barrier of payment to athletes, Stones was a leading advocate of the change. During that period, one of the first options was for winnings to be paid to the athlete's club. To answer that, Stones created the Desert Oasis Track Club, a California corporation. The only athlete in the club was Dwight Stones.[12] The stockholders and officers were Dwight Stones and his family members. Stones first made money in the televised sports creation Superstars which was "donated" to the track club. This caused the IAAF and its American affiliate the AAU to suspend Stones. The ensuing lawsuit led to the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, which broke up the AAU, decertifying it as the national governing body for track and field (and many other sports) causing the formation of The Athletics Congress and the slow transition to allow professionalism.[8]

Records held

  • World Record: High Jump – 2.30 m (7 ft 612 in) on July 11, 1973 [2]
  • World Record: High Jump – 2.31 m (7 ft 634 in) on June 5, 1976
  • World Record: High Jump – 2.32 m (7 ft 714 in) on August 4, 1976
  • American Record: High Jump – 2.34 m (7 ft 8 in) on June 24, 1984 [11]


  • 1984 Olympic Games: High Jump (4th)
  • 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials: High Jump – 2.34 m (1st)
  • 1983 TAC Outdoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1983 TAC Indoor Championships: High Jump (3rd)
  • 1982 TAC Indoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1980 AAU Outdoor Championships: High Jump (3rd)
  • 1978 AAU Outdoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1977 World Cup: High Jump (2nd)
  • 1977 AAU Indoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1977 USTFF Outdoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1977 AAU Outdoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1975 USTFF Indoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1975 USTFF Outdoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1975 AAU Indoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1975 AAU Outdoor Championships: High Jump (3rd)
  • 1974 USTFF Indoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1974 AAU Outdoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1973 USTFF Indoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1973 USTFF Outdoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1973 AAU Indoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1973 AAU Outdoor Championships: High Jump (1st)
  • 1972 Summer Olympics: High Jump – 2.21 m (3rd – bronze medal)
  • 1972 U.S. Olympic Trials: High Jump – 2.21 m (1st)
  • 1972 NCAA Outdoor Championships: High Jump (3rd)(UCLA)


  1. ^ a b c Shah, Diane K. (July 7, 1984). "Dwight Stones: still rocking and rolling". Spokesman-Review. (New York Times). p. 13. 
  2. ^ a b Liimatainen, Keijo (April 22, 2003). "2.30, approaches 30!". IAAF.org. Retrieved June 9, 2013. 
  3. ^ Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup – A blog on sports media, news and networks – baltimoresun.com
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ [4]
  6. ^ "Dwight Stones sets new world high jump record". The Bulletin ( 
  7. ^ Putnam, Pat (June 14, 1976). "The Right Height For Dwight's Flight". Sports Illustrated: 24. 
  8. ^ a b http://articles.latimes.com/1991-10-17/sports/sp-993_1_dwight-stones/2
  9. ^ a b "Stones makes peace". Rome News-Tribune. UPI. August 1, 1976. p. 2C. 
  10. ^ Moore, Kenny (August 16, 1976). "He Takes His Very Dry, If You Please". Sports Illustrated: 18. 
  11. ^ a b http://www.usatf.org/statistics/champions/OlympicTrials/HistoryOfTheOlympicTrials.pdf?avad=55097_f6f7d5cf
  12. ^ http://www.avclub.com/article/icheap-seatsi-superstars-1978-67865

External links

  • Dwight Stones official site
Preceded by
Pat Matzdorf
Men's High Jump World Record Holder
1973-07-11 — 1977-06-02
Succeeded by
Vladimir Yashchenko
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jüri Tarmak
Men's High Jump Best Year Performance
1973 — 1976
Succeeded by
Vladimir Yashchenko