Charles Dumas, Oklahoma Olympian: Born in Tulsa he was a high jumper for Team USA in 1956 Olympics

TULSA - Oklahoma Olympians is a series about athletes who were born here, lived here or went to school here.

Charles Dumas was born in Tulsa on February 12, 1937.

He moved to Los Angeles as a child, and at 19-years-old he was a high jumper at tiny Compton College when he made history.

At the U.S. Olympic Trials, Dumas became the first high jumper ever, to clear 7 feet.

And he almost didn't get his chance. Because of a mistake by his coach, Dumas had buy his own $3 ticket just to get in to The Coliseum for the event.

He instantly became the favorite to win gold at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.

And he did, setting an Olympic record along the way.

The five-time national champion would teach and coach until he died in 2004, at the age of 66. 

The Sochi Olympic Games begin Feb. 6. Find out more in our special section on KJRH.com.

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