United States Olympic Committee honors Willie Banks

Willie Banks has received the honorable Olympic Torch Award from the United States Olympic Committee presented at the 2014 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Assembly celebratory dinner in Chicago on September 26.

The Olympic Torch Award recognizes an individual who has positively impacted the Olympic Movement by promoting Olympic ideals.

Banks, a tremendous athlete at Oceanside High (Class of 1974), was a two-time state triple jump winner before heading to UCLA to continue track & field and earn his B.A. in Political Science. “A three-time Olympian (1980, 1984, 1988), who is known for popularizing the triple jump by encouraging rhythmic clapping from the crowd, he has served 11 years with the U.S. Olympians and Paralympians Association.  A member of the World Olympians Association, Banks has also served in several leadership roles at USA Track & Field, where he now sits on the board of directors. Renowned for his 1985 world-record performance leaping 58 feet, 11-1/2 inches at the track & field national championships, his record stood for more than a decade. He continues to serve on the USOPA board of directors and is a member of the Olympians for Olympians Relief Fund.”

Willie Banks was inducted into the USA National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1999. Oceanside High School Foundation inducted Banks into its Hall of Fame in 2008. On the public speaking circuit, Banks is regularly sought after by numerous Fortune 500 companies as a model of inspiration, but as much in demand as he is, Banks is continually stopping by the Oceanside High campus, participating in Pirate reunion events and annually holds a youth track event on campus.


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