David Bolen

  • Member of the 1948 Olympic Team
  • First CU Olympic Team member
  • Two-time AAU National 600 Yard Champion
  • Alumnus of the Century Award, University of Colorado, 1977

As a member of CU's track team, he was unbeaten during the 1947 season, was the 440- and 880-yard run champion of the Mountain States Conference, and also anchored CU's undefeated mile relay team. His best time in the 440 was a 46.6 effort at the 1947 NCAA Championships, finishing second but earning All-America honors. He was a member of the 1948 U.S. Olympic Team, becoming the first CU athlete to ever make an Olympic squad. He finished fourth in the 400-meter run at the London games, and in 1949, won the 600-meter event in the National AAU Championships in a time of 1:11.6 (he also won that same event in 1948 with a 1:11.8 time). He was the recipient of the Robert Russell Memorial Award after his return from the Olympics, and was selected the Most Outstanding Athlete in the Rocky Mountain Area for 1948. He went on to have an outstanding professional career in politics including as an economist, and in 1974, he was named U.S. Ambassador to the South African nations of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. He has won the prestigious Alumnus of the Century Award from CU in 1977, the Norlin Distinguished Alumni Award for professional achievements (1969), and the Department of State Superior Service Award (1973).

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