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Henry Carr, 1964 Olympic 200m champion, dies at 72

Henry Carr

TOKYO, JAPAN - OCTOBER 17: (CHINA OUT, SOUTH KOREA OUT) Henry Carr (2nd L) of United States crosses the finishing line to win the gold medal in the Men’s 200m at the National Stadium during the Tokyo Olympic on October 17, 1964 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

The Asahi Shimbun

Henry Carr, a two-time 1964 Olympic track and field champion, died of cancer at age 72 last week.

Carr, then 21, won the Tokyo 1964 Olympic 200m in a then-Olympic record 20.3 seconds. He then helped the U.S. 4x400m team to gold, breaking the world record by 1.5 seconds..

Carr was drafted by the New York Giants in the fourth round in 1965 and played three seasons as a defensive back.

“Winning the Olympics was more of a personal, individual achievement,” Carr said in 1966, according to The Associated Press. “I think football is even more of an achievement for me. I can do more concrete things for myself and use football as a stepping atone for the future, along with my Olympic connections.

“I was a champion, and I quit as a champion. There was nothing more for me to accomplish in track.”

He was inducted into the USA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1997.

“At first, I didn’t think very much of it,’' Carr said in 1997 of his induction, according to the Arizona Republic. “But I talked to my wife and realized it is a great achievement because other people think highly of you. I’m very grateful I’m alive to receive this honor. Being alive and enjoying it with family and friends means something. I wasn’t arrogant or a loudmouth. Guys like that sometimes get overlooked.”

Flashback: Usain Bolt at the Athens 2004 Olympics (video)

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