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Arnie Robinson
Arnie Robinson 1972.jpg
Robinson in 1972
Personal information
Born (1948-04-07)April 7, 1948
San Diego, California, U.S.
Died December 1, 2020(2020-12-01) (aged 72)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Height 188 cm
Weight 74 kg
Sport Athletics
Event(s) High jump, long jump, triple jump
Club Maccabi Track Club, Los Angeles
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) HJ – 2.08 m (1971)
LJ – 8.35 m (1976)
TJ – 15.54 m (1971)
Medal record
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze 1972 Munich Long jump
Gold 1976 Montreal Long jump
Pan American Games
Gold 1971 Cali Long jump
Silver 1975 Mexico City Long jump

Arnie Paul Robinson Jr. (April 7, 1948 – December 1, 2020) was an American athlete. He won a bronze medal in the long jump at the 1972 Olympics and a gold medal in 1976.

Early life and education

Arnie Paul Robinson Jr. was born in San Diego in 1948. He mother, Verneater Robinson, worked as a volunteer at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church in San Diego. Robinson stayed in the San Diego area throughout his career, first at Samuel F. B. Morse High School, then San Diego Mesa College and San Diego State University, where he was the 1970 NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Champion in the long jump.

Athletic Career

The following year, in 1971, Robinson won his first USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships title, representing the San Diego Track Club. That qualified him to go to the Athletics at the 1971 Pan American Games, where he won the Gold Medal. In 1972 he won the USA Championships again, this time representing the U.S. Army. That was the first time he qualified for the Olympic team winning the Olympic Trials. In Munich that year he was third in the Olympics behind youngster Randy Williams who was setting the still standing World Junior Record in the long jump. Then starting in 1975, Robinson went on to win four straight USA Outdoor Championships, representing an assortment of clubs. The 1975 championship qualified Robinson to again go to the Pan Am Games, where he won the silver medal behind the first of 4 jumping gold medals for João Carlos de Oliveira of Brazil. In 1976, he bested Williams in both the Olympic Trials and the Olympics, taking home the Gold Medal and a career best 8.35m jump. In 1977, his National Championship qualified him to go to the first ever World Cup meet in Düsseldorf, where he again took home Gold.

Teaching Career

As of 2005, he was teaching physical education courses at Mesa College in San Diego. He was previously the head track coach at Mesa College, starting in 1982.


In 2000, Robinson was elected into the USATF National Track and Field Hall of Fame. He was voted into the San Diego Sport Association's Breitbard Hall of Fame in 1984, and the California Community College Athletic Association Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2007.

On April 13, 2013, San Diego Mesa College honored the Olympian Long Jumper by naming their Invitational (Arnie Robinson Invite hosted in San Diego at Mesa College) after him, and presenting him with an award.

Personal life

..... After he recovered he became the coach of the USA Track & Field long jump team at the 2003 world championships. In 2005. he was diagnosed with a form of brain cancer, glioblastoma, and told he would only live another 6 months. Later in life he took up a new hobby, building houses. His first marriage to Cynthia Eley ended in divorce. He has a son, Paul, born shortly before Robinson retired from competing. He had three sisters and a younger brother who died in 2011.


Robinson began to have trouble breathing and excessive coughing around mid-November 2020. He died on December 1, 2020, at the age of 72, after contracting COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in San Diego.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Arnie Robinson para niños

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