Amy Acuff

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Amy Acuff
Amy Acuff Valence 2008.jpg
Acuff at the 2008 World Indoor Championships
Personal information
Full nameAmy Lyn Acuff
Born (1975-07-14) July 14, 1975 (age 47)
Port Arthur, Texas, U.S.A.
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight145 lb (66 kg)
Country United States
SportTrack and field
Event(s)High jump
ClubUCLA Bruins
TeamUSA Track & Field
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  United States
World University Games
Gold medal – first place 1997 Sicily High jump
World Junior Championships
Bronze medal – third place 1994 Lisbon High jump

Amelia Lyn "Amy" Acuff (born July 14, 1975) is a track and field athlete from the United States. A high jump specialist, she competed in the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games as a member of USA Track and Field. Her best Olympic performance came at the 2004 Games, where her jump of 1.99 m earned her fourth place in the final.


Born in Port Arthur, Texas, she established herself domestically with wins at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 1995 and 1997. At the age of 22, she became the Universiade champion, edging out Monica Iagăr in the 1997 high jump final. Acuff was the winner of the 1998 Hochsprung mit Musik meeting in Arnstadt, Germany, becoming the first non-European winner in the history of the event. She went on to win at the national championships in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Six national championships, all in odd numbered years.

Her personal best is 2.01 m, which she achieved at the Weltklasse Golden League international track and field meet in Zürich, Switzerland, on August 15, 2003. She finished 4th place at that high jump competition.[1]

During the 2004 Olympic final, she was in bronze medal position through 1.99m. At 2.02m, after Vita Styopina cleared her lifetime personal best on her first attempt, Acuff strategically chose to pass at what would have been her personal best just to equal Styopina and retain bronze medal position. At the time, American television commentator Dwight Stones said "That is a decision she will think about the rest of her life."

While in high school in 1993 she was named the national Girl's "High School Athlete of the Year" by Track and Field News.[2]

Her 1.95m at the Texas Relays at age 36 on March 31, 2012, should qualify as the W35 American Masters record.

Just 17 days before her 40th birthday, on June 28, 2015, Acuff placed third at the USATF track championships in Eugene, Oregon, potentially qualifying her for 2015's US delegation to the world championships in Beijing, however she needed jump of 1.94 meters, the qualifying standard. She, and all of the other American women, were ultimately unable to meet this standard and could not compete in Beijing.

She was Inducted into the Texas Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame, Class of 2015.[3]

Personal bests[edit]

  • High jump (outdoors): 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) - Zurich, August 15, 2003
  • High jump (indoors): 1.97 m (6 ft 5+12 in) - Indianapolis, March 11, 1995

National titles[edit]

  • National Scholastic Indoor Champion: 1991, 1992
  • NCAA (National Collegiate) Indoor Champion: 1994, 1995, 1997
  • NCAA Outdoor Champion: 1995, 1996
  • 6 Time U.S. Outdoor Champion: 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007
  • 5 Time U.S. Indoor Champion: 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing the  United States
1992 World Junior Championships Seoul, South Korea 9th 1.85 m
1993 Pan American Junior Championships Winnipeg, Canada 1st 1.83 m
1994 World Junior Championships Lisbon, Portugal 3rd 1.88 m
1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 8th 1.93 m
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 24th (q) 1.85 m
1997 World University Games Sicily, Italy 1st 1.98 m
World Championships Athens, Greece 14th (q) 1.92 m
IAAF Grand Prix Final Fukuoka, Japan 6th 1.93 m
1999 World Championships Seville, Spain 9th 1.93 m
2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 31st (q) 1.80 m
2001 World Indoor Championships Lisbon, Portugal 4th 1.96 m
World Championships Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 10th 1.90 m
IAAF Grand Prix Final Melbourne, Australia 2nd 1.96 m
2003 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 10th 1.92 m
World Championships Paris, France 9th 1.90 m
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 4th 1.99 m
IAAF World Athletics Final Monaco 6th 1.95 m
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 8th 1.89 m
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia 13th (q) 1.90 m
IAAF World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 5th 1.94 m
World Cup Athens, Greece 3rd 1.94 m
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 12th 1.94 m
IAAF World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 5th 1.94 m
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 6th 1.95 m
Olympic Games Beijing, China 19th (q) 1.89 m
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 10th 1.87 m
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 20th (q) 1.85 m
  • Results with a Q indicate Acuff's overall position in the qualifying round.


Amy Acuff is also known for her career as a model. She was the subject of modeling projects, media stories, and photography relating to her sports career as a track and field athlete. Acuff was even featured on national television commercials. A new challenge was taken in 1999 as she successfully organized the making of the 2000 Omnilite Millennium Calendar of Champions, which featured nude/semi-nude photographs of Acuff and 11 other U.S. female track and field stars, with half the proceeds going to the Florence Griffith-Joyner Youth Foundation.[4]

Acuff's cover appearances include:

  • Esquire, "Women of Summer: Strength & Beauty: A Portfolio of America's 10 Sexiest Athletes"
  • Men's magazines, such as Maxim and FHM
  • The 2004 Olympics were noted for the large number of female Olympians who posed nude—following in the footsteps of the 2000 Matildas and the Omni calendar. Of the 2004 examples the most visible was Acuff's appearance on the cover and within Playboy's "The Women of the Olympics" issue.[5][6]
  • Acuff appears across the top of the title for The Complete Book of the Olympics: 2008 Edition.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Acuff graduated from Calallen High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. She attended UCLA and was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007. Acuff went on to study at the Academy of Oriental Medicine in Austin, Texas, and become a licensed acupuncturist.[8]

She is distantly related to country musician Roy Acuff (her grandfather's second cousin).[9]

She is married to Tye Harvey, a retired pole vaulter. They have a daughter, Elsa. [10]

In addition to being a model, Acuff is also an artist with work on display with the [11] Art of the Olympians.


  1. ^ Aquitania, Ray E. M.D.(2001)Jock-Docs: World-Class Athletes Wearing White Coats ISBN 9781609106126
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2011-10-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Track and Field News High School AOY
  3. ^ "Txtfhalloffame". Archived from the original on 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
  4. ^ 1
  5. ^ O'Conner, Ian (August 13, 2004). "Posing for magazines: Athlete or sexual plaything?". USA Today.
  6. ^ Boswell, Laura (October 13, 2004). "Olympians posing nude, poses questions". ESPN.
  7. ^ Wallechinsky, David; Jaime Loucky (May 2008). The Complete Book of the Olympics: 2008 Edition. Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-84513-330-6.
  8. ^ 1
  9. ^ Acuff-Ecoff Family Archives
  10. ^ "Olympic high jumper takes leap into motherhood",
  11. ^ "Art of the Olympians | Amy Acuff". Retrieved 2016-05-16.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by USA Women's High Jump Champion
Succeeded by