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Louise Ritter

Photo of Louise Ritter

Inducted: 1995, athlete

Born: February 18, 1958 - Dallas, Texas

High Jump - 2.03 m

The premier women's high jumper in the United States for a decade from 1979 to 1989, Dorothy Louise Ritter surprised the world by winning the gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. She won the event in a jump-off against Stefka Kostadinova of Bulgaria, the world record-holder and favorite. But Ritter's credentials were impressive in their own right. Starting in 1979, she raised the American record from 6' 4 1/4" to the present mark of 6' 8". She was on three Olympic teams, including 1988, and was third at the 1983 World Outdoor Championships. Ritter won 10 national championships, indoors and outdoors, and was world-ranked nine times, including her best placing of second in 1988. A graduate of Texas Woman's University, where she was the national collegiate champion, she also starred in basketball. She previously was one of the nation's best high school jumpers, clearing 5' 11 1/2" at Red Oak (Texas) High School in 1976. She later became assistant track coach at Southern Methodist University and head track coach at Texas Tech.

Records Held
American Record: High Jump - 2.03 m (July 8, 1988 - )

1984 Olympics: High Jump (8th)
1988 Olympics: High Jump (1st)
1983 World Outdoors: High Jump (3rd)

high school: Red Oak (Red Oak, Texas)
undergraduate: Texas Woman's (Denton, Texas), 1981


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