Olympic speaker Jim Spivey is an American former middle-distance runner who enjoyed a long Olympic career, participating in the Summer Games in 1984, 1992, and 1996.
He began running competitively in 1975 as a sophomore in cross country and on the track at Fenton High School in Bensenville, Illinois. By the time he left, his times of 1:50.2 880 yards was the number one ranked high school time in the country; and his mile of 4:06.2 made him the 2nd fastest high schooler for 1978.
In 1982, the Indiana University student was the NCAA champion in the men’s 1500 meters. Two years later he won the Olympic Trials and placed fifth in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. The Olympic speaker’s time of 3:36.06 was the fastest run by an American in the Olympic final until the 2012 Games.
His greatest success came at the World Championships in Rome 1987 over 1500m where he won a bronze medal. He also won the Silver Medal at the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1992 Jim won the US Olympic trials 1500 meters in New Orleans ahead of Steve Holman to qualify for the Olympic Games in Barcelona, where he came eighth. Four years later he competed in the Olympic 5000m competition in Atlanta, where he was a semi-finalist with a 14:27.72.
Following retirement, Jim was the head coach of men and women cross-country and track and field at the University of Chicago from 1997 to 2001, and had 13 all-Americans of the athletic department’s 24 during that time. From 2001 to 2005, the Olympic speaker was the head women’s cross-country coach/assistant track and field coach at Vanderbilt University.
Jim currently lives in Wheaton, Illinois and works for ASICS America in college team sales, and coaches the Jim Spivey Running Club. He is presently the co-head boy’s and girl’s cross country coach and assistant track coach at Wheaton Academy in West Chicago. He also coaches individuals and high school groups during the off-season, and gives motivational speeches and coaching clinics.
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