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Tim Bright, ACU’s most versatile Olympian

By on August 11, 2016 in Alumni News, Sports with 0 Comments
Tim Bright

Tim Bright

Of the dozens of current or former Abilene Christian University athletes to make an Olympic team in the past 60 years, two stand alone in terms of longevity. Tim Bright (’83) and Delloreen Ennis (’99) each competed in three Olympics – Bright in 1984, 1988 and 1992 for the United States and Ennis in 2000, 2004 and 2008 for her native Jamaica.

Delloreen Ennis

Delloreen Ennis

Ennis is the most accomplished female track and field athlete in ACU history. She was among the world’s best in her specialty, the 100-meter hurdles, and narrowly missed winning a bronze medal in 2000 in Sydney, Australia. In 2005, she finished second in the women’s world championships, third in 2007 and third again in 2009.

Bright, however, was a jack-of-all-trades and master of many as a decathlete whose strong suit was the pole vault. Decathletes compete across two grueling days in 10 events: 100-meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump and 400-meter run on the first day, and 110-meter hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500-meter run on the second.

He also was a world-ranked pole vaulter who set an Olympic decathlon vault record in Seoul, South Korea, in 1988. He did not medal in either of his three Olympic appearances, but to earn spots on U.S. teams across nearly a decade – as a decathlete in 1984 and 1988 and a vaulter in 1992 – remains a remarkable feat.

ACU’s Olympians and the nations they have represented (year of each Games in parentheses):

Tom D. Smith III is the only ACU Olympian in a sport other than track and field. The former U.S. military hero held world records in pistol shooting and competed for his country in the 1964 Games in Tokyo. Watch this blog for more on his accomplishments.

Tim Bright at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Tim Bright at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

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Ron Hadfield

About the Author

About the Author: Ron Hadfield is editor of ACU Today magazine and assistant vice president for university communication at Abilene Christian, where he began work in 1983 overseeing Creative Services at his alma mater.
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