David Roberts
Roberts in 1976
Personal information
BornJuly 23, 1951 (1951-07-23) (age 72)
Stillwater, Oklahoma, U.S.
Alma materRice University
Height188 cm (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Weight81 kg (179 lb)
EventPole vault
ClubFTC, Gainesville
Achievements and titles
Personal best5.70 m (1976)[2]
Medal record
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 1976 Montreal Pole vault
Pan American Games
Silver medal – second place 1971 Cali Pole vault

David Luther Roberts (born July 23, 1951) is an American retired pole vaulter and practicing physician. He won a silver medal at the 1971 Pan America Games and a bronze at the 1976 Olympics. Domestically he held the NCAA title in 1971–1973 and the AAU title in 1972 and 1974. He set two world records, in 1975 and 1976.

Roberts (right) returns a borrowed pole to Bell at the 1976 Olympic Trials

During the 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials, Roberts broke his pole. His rival and then world record holder Earl Bell lent him his pole, and Roberts won the Trials with a new world record of 5.70 m.[3] At the Olympics, he and two other athletes cleared 5.50 m. He passed at 5.55 m and his rivals failed to clear that height. He was unable to clear the next height at 5.60 m, as it had begun to rain. He finished third on the attempts count.[1]

Roberts graduated from Rice University in 1974. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine in 1979, and is currently an assistant clinical professor of emergency medicine at that institution.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Dave Roberts. sports-reference.com
  2. ^ Dave Roberts. trackfield.brinkster.net
  3. ^ Putnam, Pat (July 5, 1976) FLYING START TOWARD THE OLYMPICS. Sports Illustrated
Records Preceded by Bob Seagren Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder March 28, 1975 – May 29, 1976 Succeeded by Earl Bell Preceded by Earl Bell Men's Pole Vault World Record Holder June 22, 1976 – May 11, 1980 Succeeded by Władysław Kozakiewicz Sporting positions Preceded by Steve Smith Men's Pole Vault Best Year Performance 1975–1976 Succeeded by Władysław Kozakiewicz