Mike Powell
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 60)[1]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.[1]
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)[1]
Weight170 lb (77 kg)[1]
SportTrack and field
EventLong jump
Coached byRandy Huntington
Achievements and titles
Personal bests
Medal record
International athletics competitions
Event 1st 2nd 3rd
Olympic Games 0 2 0
World Championships 2 0 1
Total 2 2 1
Men's athletics
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place 1988 Seoul Long jump
Silver medal – second place 1992 Barcelona Long jump
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 1991 Tokyo Long jump
Gold medal – first place 1993 Stuttgart Long jump
Bronze medal – third place 1995 Gothenburg Long jump
Goodwill Games
Gold medal – first place 1994 St. Petersburg Long jump
Silver medal – second place 1990 Seattle 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. He attended Edgewood High School in West Covina, California, where he finished second in the high jump with a height of 7 ft 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 in), 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), 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 trying to dunk from the free throw line but failed the attempt. Mike Conley did successfully dunk from the free throw line and won the competition.

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 coaches long jump at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California.[7]

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 did not actually compete. He later stated he would jump again in the future, and he has now registered for the WMA in Tampere in July 2022.[8]

In July 2016, his daughter Micha Powell was officially named to Canada's Olympic team.[9]


  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". IAAF. Archived from the original on July 10, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2009.
  7. ^ "Mike Powell - Men's Track and Field Coach". Azusa Pacific University Athletics. Retrieved March 28, 2024.
  8. ^ Registration status – WMA Tampere2022 [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ 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.
Records Preceded by Bob Beamon Men's Long Jump World Record Holder August 30, 1991 – present Incumbent Achievements Preceded by Larry Myricks Men's Long Jump Best Year Performance 1990–1991 Succeeded by Carl Lewis Preceded by Carl Lewis Men's Long Jump Best Year Performance 1993 Succeeded by Erick Walder Awards Preceded by Mal Meninga BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year 1991 Succeeded by Andre Agassi