Yang Chuan-kwang

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Yang Chuan-kwang
C K Yang - Southern Campus 1960 crop.jpg
Medal record
Men's Athletics
Representing  Republic of China
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1960 Rome Decathlon
Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 1954 Manila Decathlon
Gold medal – first place 1958 Tokyo Decathlon
Silver medal – second place 1958 Tokyo 110m Hurdles
Silver medal – second place 1958 Tokyo Long Jump
Bronze medal – third place 1958 Tokyo 400m Hurdles
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Yang.

Yang Chuan-kwang, or C.K. Yang (Chinese: 楊傳廣; pinyin: Yáng Chuánguǎng) (July 10, 1933 in Taitung, Taiwan – January 27, 2007 in Los Angeles, USA at the age of 73), was an Olympic decathlete from the Republic of China.[1] Yang attended college at UCLA where he trained and competed with team mate and Olympian Rafer Johnson.


Known as the "Iron Man of Asia," Yang won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1954 Asian Games, and he again won the gold medal in the decathlon in the 1958 Asian Games, and in addition, the silver medals in both the 110 m hurdles and the long jump, and the bronze medal in the 400 m hurdles. Yang's first Olympic Games competition was at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, where he finished in eighth place in the decathlon.

Yang's most memorable decathlon competition was a duel with Rafer Johnson, his good friend and fellow track and field teammate at University of California at Los Angeles, during the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. Going into the final event of the decathlon, the 1500 meter run, Yang trailed Johnson by just 67 points in the decathlon competition, but Johnson hung on to win the gold medal, with Yang winning the silver medal. Yang actually topped Johnson in all four track events, plus the three jumping or vaulting events, but the large margins in points that Johnson attained in the three throwing events (the shot put, the discus throw, and the javelin throw) was big enough to make Johnson the winner, and to put Yang in second place – the decathlon silver medalist. He was the first Olympic medallist in his country's history.

In 1963, Yang set a new world indoor record in the pole vault at 4.96 m (16 ft 314 in) in Portland, just one day after David Tork had set the record at 4.93 m (16 ft 2 in) in Toronto.[2] His record only lasted a week.

Later that year he finally took the Decathlon World Record from Johnson at the Mt. SAC Relays. He was the first man to break the 9,000 barrier under the old scale. When the new tables were re-evaluated, this same score was the first to break 8,000 points under the new system. To date, he is the only athlete not from the United States or Europe to hold the decathlon world record.

The next year, he competed again in the decathlon in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, finishing in fifth place.

In 1970, Yang was cast in the western There Was a Crooked Man as a tough inmate named Ah-Ping who did not speak.

Yang was a member of the Amis, one of the fourteen officially recognized peoples of Taiwanese aborigines. He had a wife, Daisy, and two sons: Cedric Yang (Yang Sui-yuen) and C.K. Yang, Jr. and three grandchildren: Madison Yang, Carmen Yang, and Dorothy Yang.

Yang, who contracted liver cancer in 2001 while he was the president of the National Sports Training Center at Kaohsiung, died on January 27, 2007, due to a massive stroke.[3] He is buried in Ivy Lawn Memorial Park in Ventura, California.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Yang C. K. Biography and Olympic Results | Olympics at". Sports-reference.com. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ http://english.rti.org.tw/Content/GetSingleNews.aspx?ContentID=30165
  3. ^ Associated, The (February 1, 2007). "C. K. Yang, 74, Decathlon Silver Medalist, Is Dead – New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Chuan-Kwang "C. K." Yang (1933–2007) – Find A Grave Memorial". Findagrave.com. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
United States Rafer Johnson
Men's Decathlon World Record Holder
April 28, 1963 – July 24, 1966
Succeeded by
United States Russ Hodge
Preceded by
New Zealand Peter Snell
Track & Field Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
New Zealand Peter Snell