A for Athlete


  • Wikipedia:Jim Ryun
  • Great United States (also known as USA) Flag of the United States track star who set a record as a high school runner and competed in the Olympics.
    • In 1964, Jim Ryun became the first high school runner to run a sub-four-minute mile. He set world records in the mile and half-mile in 1966, and, in his second Olympic Games in 1968, he won the silver medal in the 1,500 meters.
  • Kansas native who was elected to the US Congress.
  • Republican and also with a strong religious / Christian faith.
  • Dad and husband.
  • Has done some work with advocate efforts for those with hearing loss.


  • Catching up with U.S. distance runner Jim Ryun by Sarah Braunstein, 07/17/08 - Jim Ryun's two careers as a distance runner and congressman have taken strangely similar paths. With each, he began with early success, suffered a heartbreaking loss and made an effort to come back. Ultimately denied a second chance as a runner, Ryun is hopeful that the final chapter of his life as a politician has yet to be written.

1972 Olympics[]

In the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Jim Ryun tripped by another runner in heats and appealed for reinstatement, which would have allowed him to compete in the final race. But Ryun was denied and he could not defending the silver medal he won in Mexico City in 1968 Olympics in the medal race.


  • Moved into the US House seat as Sam Brownback moved to a new role in the US Senate.
  • Served four terms to 2006 voters elected Democract Nancy Boyda.


"As a senior in high school, I was a member of the U.S. Team, competing against the former Soviet Union," he said. "I had an opportunity to see what communism was all about. I would come back and think, 'wow, what a great country we have.'"

In Munich: "Just before my event was when Black September came in and killed the Israeli athletes," he said. "That was my first introduction of terrorism."

"As I've traveled throughout the 2nd District, I've knocked on about 5,000 doors, and what I want to help people with are lower taxes," he said. As gas and fuel prices, illegal immigration and wasteful government spending escalate, Ryun's political concerns have weight. Tack on his challenge to Republican primary foe, Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, to run a positive campaign, and it's clear how far Ryun wants to take his work.

"I think taking away their medals is the right thing to do," Ryun said. "You send the message that there is no place for it, [and] they'll find that they can do it the way we did it with lots of hard work and sweat."

"To be honest, I approach it the way I did my races," he said. "I run through the finish line. My full concentration has to be on this race and I'm not looking past November."