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1961 in sports facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

1961 in sports describes the year's events in world sport.

Centuries: 19th century · 20th century · 21st century
Decades: 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s
Years: 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964

American football

Association football

Cup Finals

League Winners




  • June 3 in Los Angeles, California - Emile Griffith knocked out Gaspar Ortega in the 12th round to retain the Welterweight Championship

Canadian football


Figure skating

  • The World Figure Skating Championships in Prague are cancelled after the entire USA team of skaters, officials, leaders and chaperones are killed in a plane crash on 15 February en route to the competition.
  • Among the dead are:
    • Bradley Lord (21), USA men's figure skating champion;
    • Maribel Vinson-Owen, USA women's figure skating champion and coach;
    • Maribel Yerxa Owen (20), USA women's figure skating champion;
    • Laurence Owen (16), USA women's figure skating champion.


Men's professional

Men's amateur

  • British Amateur - Michael Bonallack
  • U.S. Amateur - Jack Nicklaus

Women's professional

Harness racing

  • United States Pacing Triple Crown races –
    1. Cane Pace - Cold Front
    2. Little Brown Jug - Henry T. Adios
    3. Messenger Stakes - Adios Don
  • United States Trotting Triple Crown races –
    1. Hambletonian - Harlan Dean
    2. Yonkers Trot - Duke Rodney
    3. Kentucky Futurity - Duke Rodney
  • Australian Inter Dominion Harness Racing Championship –
    • Pacers: Massacre

Horse racing


  • Cheltenham Gold Cup – Saffron Tartan
  • Grand National – Nicolaus Silver

Flat races

Ice hockey

Motor racing


  • First European Amateur Radio Direction Finding Championships held in Stockholm, Sweden. This event was the first organized international competition in the sport.

Rugby union

  • 67th Five Nations Championship series is won by France


  • August 13 – USA's Becky Collins breaks the world record in the women's 200m butterfly (long course) during a meet in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 2:32.8.
  • August 19 – US swimmer Carl Robie takes over the world record in the men's 200m butterfly (long course) from his compatriot Michael Troy at a meet in Los Angeles, California, clocking 2:12.6.


Multi-sport events


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1961 in sports Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.