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Louise Ritter
Personal information
BornFebruary 18, 1958 (1958-02-18) (age 64)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.

Louise Dorothy Ritter (born February 18, 1958) is an American former track and field athlete who won the gold medal in the high jump at the 1988 Olympic Games.


Ritter qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic team but was unable to compete due to the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott. She did however receive one of 461 Congressional Gold Medals created especially for the spurned athletes.[1]

Louise won the gold medal in the women's high jump at the 1988 Summer Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea.[2] In doing so she upset Stefka Kostadinova, the reigning world champion and world record-holder in the event. A graduate from Red Oak High School she now has a street named after her[citation needed] located in her former home town of Red Oak, TX.[3]

She graduated from Texas Woman's University in 1988 where she starred for U.S. Olympic coach Dr. Bert Lyle.

She was Inducted into the Texas Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame, Class of 2012.[4]


Note: During the 1980s, the US Championships and US Olympic trials were separate events.

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing  United States
1977 World Cup Düsseldorf, Germany 4th 1.83 m
1979 Pan American Games San Juan, Puerto Rico 1st 1.93 m
World Cup Montreal, Canada 5th 1.87 m
1983 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 3rd 1.95 m
1984 Olympic Games Los Angeles, United States 8th 1.91 m
1986 Goodwill Games Moscow, Soviet Union 8th 1.89 m
1987 World Championships Rome, Italy 8th 1.93 m
1988 Olympic Games Seoul, South Korea 1st 2.03 m


  1. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry (2008). Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243–253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Louise Ritter". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 2020-04-17.
  3. ^ THE SEOUL OLYMPICS; Last Jump Goes Ritter's Way
  4. ^ "Txtfhalloffame". Archived from the original on 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2017-01-15.
Sporting positions Preceded by Joni Huntley USA National High Jump Champion 1978 Succeeded by Debbie Brill Preceded by Debbie Brill USA National High Jump Champion 1983 Succeeded by Pam Spencer Preceded by Pam Spencer USA National High Jump Champion 1985 — 1986 Succeeded by Coleen Sommer