Dave Sime

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Dave Sime
Personal information
Born (1936-07-25) July 25, 1936 (age 78)
Paterson, New Jersey, United States
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 81 kg (179 lb)
Sport Sprint running
Club Duke Blue Devils, Durham

David William "Dave" Sime (born July 25, 1936) is an American former sprinter. He never won a major title but he ranked as one of the fastest humans of all time, holding several sprint records during the late 1950s.[1]

Born in Paterson, New Jersey, Sime grew up in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, where he attended Fair Lawn High School.[2][3] Sime came to prominence in 1956 while attending Duke University as a member of the baseball and track and field teams. (He is now "one of the infamous ten") "The 10". He and fellow American Bobby Morrow had some great duels that year but an injury ruined his Olympic hopes. Four years later, in Rome, he was second in the Olympic 100 m before anchoring the U.S. to a victory in the 4×100 m relay. However, the U.S. team was disqualified for passing out of the zone, and Sime lost his chance at an Olympic gold medal. During his career, he held world records at 100 yd, 220 yd, and the 220 yd low hurdles. After college, Sime became an ophthalmologist in Florida.

Sime came to Duke on a baseball scholarship, and had never run track in his life. The Duke track coach happened to see this long lanky figure while attending a baseball game. He asked permission from Duke's baseball coach to let him work out with the track team. His coach agreed provided there was not a baseball game that day. In his first track meet he was entered into the 100 yard event. Never having raced before in his life in his first track event (against the University of Maryland) he ran a 9.6, just .3 off the world record. He still holds the record at Duke for the 100 and 220 with best times of 9.3 and 20.0 which were world records in the 1950s.

Duke's football coach approached him the following season, again getting permission from his baseball coach. Playing the position of "lonesome end" Duke played Notre Dame in their first game. On the first play from scrimmage, Sime caught a touchdown pass. The next time Duke was on offense, the first play, Sime caught another touchdown pass. After that Notre Dame had three men on Sime the entire game. Duke defeated Notre Dame that day. He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the 29th round (341st overall) of the 1959 NFL Draft.

100 m final at the 1960 Olympics, Sime is 1st from right

CIA mission[edit]

On the eve of the Rome Olympics, Sime was approached by the Central Intelligence Agency and recruited to help secure the defection of Soviet athlete Igor Ter-Ovanesyan.[4] Sime approached Ter-Ovanesyan and introduced him to a CIA agent in Rome, but that agent's manner frightened Ter-Ovanesyan off and he did not defect.[5]


  1. ^ Dave Sime. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ Roberts, Jeff. "Intriguing People: Dave Sime", The Record (Bergen County), April 25, 2010. Accessed June 25, 2013. "This was the moment that changed everything for the Paterson-born, Fair Lawn-bred Sime."
  3. ^ "Sime Has Great Day, Breaks World Record", The Miami News via Associated Press, May 6, 1956. Accessed August 31, 2011. "The 190-pound Fair Lawn, N.J., sophomore, a hot prospect for the U.S. Olympic team, won the 100-yard dash in 9.4, his sixth such performance this year."
  4. ^ Maraniss, p. 26
  5. ^ Maraniss, p. 257


  • Maraniss, David (2008). Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World. New York, Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1-4165-3407-5.

External links[edit]