Alma Richards
Alma Richards in 1912
Personal information
Birth nameAlma Wilford Richards
Full nameAlma Wilford Richards, Esq.
BornFebruary 20, 1890 (1890-02-20)
Parowan, Utah, U.S.A.[1]
DiedApril 3, 1963 (1963-04-04) (aged 73)
Alma materBrigham Young High School
Height1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[2]
Weight84 kg (185 lb)
SportTrack and field
Event(s)High jump, long jump, shot put, discus throw, decathlon
University teamCornell University Big Red
Coached byEugene L. Roberts[1]
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s)HJ – 1.956 m (1915)
LJ – 7.125 m (1915)
SP – 14.01 m (1916)
DT – 44.12 m (1922)[3]
Medal record
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1912 Stockholm High jump

Alma Wilford Richards (February 20, 1890 – April 3, 1963) was an American athlete. He was the first resident of Utah to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games, in 1912, in the running high jump event.[1][4]


Richards graduated from Brigham Young prep school in 1913, and then attended Cornell University with a scholarship, where he was also a member of the Quill and Dagger honor society,[5][6] and got a law degree.[7]

He taught science at Venice High School in Los Angeles for 32 years.[1] Richards was buried, according to his wishes, in the Parowan Cemetery.[8] He was posthumously inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame (1970),[9] Helms Hall of Fame and Brigham Young University Hall of Fame.[1]

Personal life

Richards’ first wife was Marian Gardiner Richards. They had one child, Joanne Richards. His second wife was Gertrude Huntimer Richards, and they had three children: Mary Richards Schraeger of La Habra Heights, California; Anita Richards Ricciardi of Whittier California; and Paul Richards of Los Angeles, California.[8] Richards was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, their first member to compete in the Olympics.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e Reese, W. Paul (February 1995) Alma Richards Was Utah's First Olympic Gold Medalist. History Blazer
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Alma Richards". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on April 17, 2020.
  3. ^ Alma Richards.
  4. ^ "Alma Richards". Olympedia. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  5. ^ "Alma: BYA Boy Wins Olympic Gold". Y Magazine. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  6. ^ "Alma Richards (1986) - Hall of Fame". Cornell University Athletics. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  7. ^ Benson, Lee; Robinson, Doug (January 1, 1992). Trials & Triumphs/Mormons in the Olympic Games. Deseret Book Company. ISBN 978-0875796284. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  8. ^ a b Wallechinsky, David and Loucky, Jaime (2008). "Track & Field (Men): High Jump." In "The Complete Book of the Olympics – 2008 Edition." London: Aurum Press, Limited. p. 197.
  9. ^ Honorees. Utah Sports Hall of Fame
  10. ^ Deseret News 1999-2000 Church Almanac. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News. 1998. p. 555. ISBN 1573454915.