Harrison Dillard

Harrison Dillard in the 1952 Olympics

William Harrison Dillard ( born July 8, 1923 in Cleveland, Ohio ) is a former American track and field athlete. To date, he is the only athlete who could be Olympic champion in both the sprint and in hurdling.


Dillard served during WWII in the U.S. Army. After the war he returned to college and took there again the Athletics Training on. His role model was the four-time Olympic champion Jesse Owens, who, like Dillard, came from Cleveland. In the late 1940s Dillard was one of the best hurdlers in the world. In the U.S. elimination fights for the Olympic Games in 1948, the so-called trials, however, he failed in the 110- meter hurdles. Only in the 100 -meter run succeeded Dillard, to qualify as a third party for the Olympic Games.

At the Olympic Games in London Dillard reached the final of the 100 meters. There he delivered himself with his compatriot Barney Ewell a dead heat. Only the evaluation of the target pictures showed Dillard as the winner. His time of 10.3 seconds meant the setting of the Olympic cup record. Dillard took place in London as runner of the U.S. team in the 4 x 100 - meter relay at. Together with his teammates Ewell, Lorenzo Wright and Mel Patton Dillard secured his second gold medal in front of the British relay.

Four years later, Dillard failed to qualify in his specialty discipline for the 1952 Olympic Games. In a tight race Dillard was in Helsinki ahead of his compatriot Jack Davis Olympic champion in the 110 meter hurdles. With the U.S. team, he won in the 4 x 100 - meter relay his fourth gold medal at the Olympic Games.

Harrison Dillard tried in 1956 to qualify for a third time for the Olympic Games, but failed.


On November 14, 2013 Harrison Dillard was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the International Association of Athletics Federations ( IAAF).