Jim Hines is one of the select few men to possess the title of “World’s Fastest Human” and has the sole distinction of being the “first person to break the 10 second barrier”. Hines earned that distinction while representing the United States in the 1968 summer Olympics in Mexico City. A product of Oakland’s McClymonds High School, Hines became the first sprinter to finish the Olympics Finals of the 100 meter dash in less than 10 seconds, clocking a 9.95 to win the gold medal. Hines also earned gold in those games by anchoring the U.S. 4 x 100 meter relay team. Both performances were monumental. While winning the 100, Hines not only defeated his American rival, Charles Greene, but also set a record that would stand for 15 years. The relay was a truly dramatic event, as Hines took the baton with the U.S. in sixth place. Hines turned in a remarkable clocking of 8.2 seconds in his leg to seal the winning time of 38.2, another world record. Featuring Hines, fellow sprinters Lee Evans and Tommie Smith, John Carlos, long jumper Bob Beamon and Wyonmia Tyus of the woman’s team, the 1968 U.S. track and field team is widely considered to be the finest in history. After a brief stint in the NFL as a wide receiver with the Miami Dolphins and the Kansas City Chiefs, H McClymonds High School Hines continued to run competitively past the age of 30. He even finished the 100 meters in 10.9 seconds at the age of 37 in 1984. Hines was ranked as the nation’s top high school sprinter when he graduated in 1964 from McClymonds High School, where he specialized in the 100 and 200 yard dashes.

Inducted into the BAY AREA SPORTS HALL OF FAME – 2014

Narrative by Chris Haft