👟 Former Kansas Legend Bill Nieder Passes Away
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Former Kansas shot putter and Olympic Gold Medalist Bill Nieder passed away last week in Angels Camp, California, his family confirmed. Nieder was 89 years old.
During Nieder’s time at Kansas, he became the first collegian to surpass 60 feet with the 16-pound shot. Nieder won the silver medal at the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia in his senior year as a Jayhawk. Four years later, he won the gold medal with an Olympic record of 19.62m/64-4.75.
During the 1960 Olympic Trials, Nieder was chosen as an alternate for Team USA after placing fourth.
Nieder finished his career at Kansas with the 28 best shot put marks in Big Seven Conference history, an outdoor national title, two All-American accolades and held five conference championship titles. Twice he won the Texas-Kansas-Drake Relays triple crown and was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1961.
In his competitive career, Nieder owned the shot put world record three times and was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2006.
Nieder was also a member of the Kansas football team in 1985, until an injury sidelined him and allowed to focus his attention on the shot put.
After Nieder finished his athletic career, the Lawrence, Kansas native worked for 3M to help develop the world’s first artificial athletic turf while also helping sell synthetic track surfaces.