By Paul Osborne

Wilbur Thompson has died at the age of 92 ©Getty ImagesDecember 31 - American Olympic shot put champion Wilbur Thompson has died at the age of 92.
The athlete - who won gold in the discipline at the London 1948 Games, with a career best 17.12 metre throw to break the Olympic record by more than 90 centimetres - died on Christmas Day, according to a statement from the University of Southern California, where he was a member of the school's 1942 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Championships track and field team.

Born in Frankfort, South Dakota, Thompson - given the nickname "Moose" when he grew to six feet and gained 200 pounds as a sophomore in high school - won the national junior college shot put title in 1939 and 1940 while at Modesto Junior College, before enrolling in University of Southern California.

His time at the university was interrupted when he served in the Army during World War Two but he went on to place second in the shot put at the 1946 NCAA meet after placing fifth in 1942.

Following his Olympic career, which saw him ranked third and fourth in the world in 1949 and 1950 respectively, Thompson moved to Long Beach in 1953, where he worked in the oil business and then with the California State Lands Commission.

He is survived by three daughters.

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