Mike Powell (long jumper)

Mike Powell
Long Jumper Mike Powell Announces Attempt At Another World Record.PNG
Powell announces at a press conference that he will attempt to break the World Masters record
Personal information
Full nameMichael Anthony Powell[1]
Born (1963-11-10) November 10, 1963 (age 59)[1]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.[1]
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)[1]
Weight170 lb (77 kg)[1]
SportTrack and field
Event(s)Long jump
Updated on August 6, 2012.

Michael Anthony Powell (born November 10, 1963) is an American former track and field athlete, and the holder of the long jump world record. He is a two-time world champion and two-time Olympic silver medalist in this event. His world record of 8.95 m (29 ft 4+14 in) has stood since 1991.



Powell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Edgewood High School in West Covina, California, where he finished second in the high jump at the CIF California State Meet in 1981.[2] He went on to attend the University of California, Irvine, and later transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Athletics career

Powell won the long jump silver medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.[1]

At the 1991 World Championships in Athletics (Tokyo), on August 30, 1991, Powell broke Bob Beamon's almost 23-year-old long jump world record by 5 cm (2 inches), leaping 8.95 m (29 ft 4+14 in).[3] The world record still stands, making it the longest-standing long jump world record since records have been kept. His feat earned him the James E. Sullivan Award and BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year Award in 1991.[citation needed]

He also holds the longest wind-assisted jump at 8.99 m (29 ft 5+34 in) (+4.4 m/s) that he set at high altitude in 1992 in Sestriere, Italy.[4]

Powell again won the long jump silver medal at 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.[1] In addition to his famous 1991 victory, he won the long jump again at the 1993 World Championships in Athletics,[5] and came third at the 1995 World Championships in Athletics.

Powell competed in the 1992–93 Foot Locker Slam Fest and successfully dunked from the free throw line.

After coming fifth in the long jump at the 1996 Olympics, Powell retired. He returned in 2001 with a goal of competing in the 2004 Olympics, but did not make the American team.

After retirement

Powell became an analyst for Yahoo! Sports Olympic Track & Field coverage.

He stated in July 2009 that he intended to return to competition with the aim of breaking Tapani Taavitsainen's Masters over-45 world record in the long jump.[6]

Powell now[when?] coaches long jump at the Academy of Speed in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

At the Simplot Games on February 20, 2015 in an official announcement Powell stated that, at the age of 51, he would jump again in competition. On March 7, 2015 Powell entered the Athletics New Zealand Track and Field Championships, with every jump considered an attempt at the World Masters record. However, Powell sustained an injury in warm up and didn't actually compete. He later stated he will jump again in the future and now he has registered for the WMA in Tampere in July 2022.[7]

In July 2016 his daughter Micha Powell was officially named to Canada's Olympic team.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Mike Powell". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  2. ^ "California State Meet Results – 1915 to present". Hank Lawson. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2012.
  3. ^ Mohapatra, Bikash (July 5, 2011). "I believed I could break the record: Mike Powell", [rediff.com]. Retrieved on September 7, 2021.
  4. ^ "Long Jump – men – senior – outdoor". iaaf.org. Archived from the original on June 29, 2016. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  5. ^ "Mike Powell". usatf.org. USA Track & Field. Archived from the original on December 25, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Minshull, Phil (July 7, 2009). Mike Powell aims to return to competition Archived July 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. IAAF. Retrieved on 2009-07-23.
  7. ^ Registration status – WMA Tampere2022
  8. ^ Hossain, Asif (July 11, 2016). "Athletics Canada nominates largest squad to Team Canada for Rio". Canadian Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on March 30, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2016.

External links

Preceded by Men's Long Jump World Record Holder
August 30, 1991 – present
Preceded by Men's Long Jump Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Men's Long Jump Best Year Performance
Succeeded by
Preceded by BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year
Succeeded by