Rafer Johnson

Sad to hear of the passing of Olympic great Rafer Johnson, seen here in 1960 with Taiwan’s CK Yang who won the Silver Medal that year in Rome. Both of them attended and knew each other well while at U.C.L.A. Here’s what Johnson had to say about Yang in his autobiography “The Best That I Can Be”:”C. K. taught me a lot, especially about the pole vault, which he was so good at that he later broke the world record. I helped him too, especially with the weight events – javelin, discus, and shotput. We worked side by side, pushing each other like teammates with a common purpose, spotting each other’s weaknesses and helping to correct them. Each of us understood a basic truth: If I help him be the best he can be, he’ll help me be the best I can be. We never faltered in this belief, even at the height of our competition.”