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Fortune Gordien, who was born in Spokane, Wash., and raised in Minneapolis, was a three-time U.S. Olympian and world-record holder in the discus.

After graduating from Minneapolis Roosevelt High School, Gordien attended the University of Minnesota. During his time at the University, he won three NCAA discus titles.

The 1948 NCAA meet was held at Memorial Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.

Gordien's efforts helped the Gophers win the team championship over favorites Southern California and Texas. Gordien's discus title and second-place finish in the shot put was 18 of the Gophers' winning total of 46 points. Southern California finished 41 1/2 points. It is the only NCAA title in the history of the Gophers track and field program.

"Minnesota's winning the team championship in the 1948 NCAA track meet at Memorial Stadium will always be No. 1 for me personally. You always get the biggest kick out of getting to the top and that's what we did that day," Gordien told the Minneapolis Star in 1958.

The 6-foot, 220-pound Gordien won six national AAU discus titles and was on the 1948, 1952 and 1956 U.S. Olympic teams. He won a bronze medal at the 1948 games, placed fourth in 1952 and won a silver medal in 1956.

On Aug. 25, 1953, at a national AAU track and field meet in Los Angeles, he threw the discus 194 feet, 6 inches — a world record that stood for 10 years.

In an interview with the Minneapolis Tribune in 1973, Gordien said, "I don't remember myself as anybody great, I just remember myself as an athlete who had some good days and some bad ones."


Class: 1958.

Sport: Track and field.

Teams: Gophers, three U.S. Olympic teams.