UCLA dedicates track at Drake Stadium to Olympic icon Rafer Johnson and wife Betsy
T&FTrack & Field
Oct 26, 2019
The track at UCLA's Drake Stadium was formally dedicated Friday to alumnus and 1960 Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson and his wife, a fellow Bruin, Betsy. Johnson led UCLA to its first track & field NCAA championship in 1956 and started at forward on the basketball team for the 1958-59 season. He was also student body president in 1959, becoming the second African-American student to hold the position in school history. Johnson was inducted into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1974 and was selected to light the Olympic cauldron at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum a decade later. Following his retirement from competition, Johnson and a small group of volunteers founded Special Olympics Southern California; each year, the organization gives out a humanitarian award in his honor.