Mattos, former Olympic pole-vaulter, dies at 83

Updated: October 24, 2012, 8:45 PM ET
Associated Press

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. -- Two-time Olympic pole-vaulter George Mattos has died at age 83.

Relatives said the Pole Vault Hall of Fame member died Oct. 18 in southern Oregon, where he had lived for two decades. He had prostate cancer.

In the Olympics, Mattos finished ninth in 1952 in Helsinki and fourth in 1956 in Melbourne. Fellow American Bob Richards took gold both times.

Mattos starred at San Jose State after edging future "I Spy" actor Robert Culp to win the 1947 California high school championship.

Following his Olympic career, the accomplished clarinet and saxophone player helped start the music department at the College of the Siskiyous. A scholarship there honors his legacy.

He told the Mail Tribune newspaper in August that the Olympic experience was fun, but music was his life's work.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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