Ira Murchison

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Ira Murchison
Medal record
Men’s Athletics
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold 1956 Melbourne 4x100m relay
Pan American Games
Gold 1963 São Paulo 4x100m relay
Bronze 1963 São Paulo 100 metres

Ira James Murchison (February 6, 1933 – March 28, 1994) was an American athlete, winner of the gold medal in 4x100 m relay at the 1956 Summer Olympics.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Ira Murchison was noted for his exceptional speed from the starting block, which earned him a nickname Human Sputnik.

Before the Melbourne Olympics, Murchison equalled twice the 100 m world record of 10.2 and ran in Berlin a new world record of 10.1, thus becoming one of the favourites to win the 100 m Olympic gold medal. But at Melbourne, Murchison managed to finish only in a disappointing fourth place. He also ran the leadoff leg of the 4x100 m relay team for the United States, and helped the American team to a gold medal in a world record time of 39.5.

In 1957, Murchison repeated the 100 yd (91 m) world record of 9.3 and, as a Western Michigan University student, won the 1958 NCAA championships in 100 yd (91 m). At the 1963 Pan American Games, Murchison finished third in the 100 m and helped the American 4x100 m relay team to win a gold medal.

During the 1970s, Murchison was the coach of a women's track team in Chicago. One of the women he coached was 1976 Olympic sprinter, Rosalyn Bryant.

Ira Murchison died of cancer in Harvey, Illinois, aged 61.