Biography: KRIZ, Frank

KRIZ, Frank

Inducted: 1959 – Among the Original class of Honorees Born: March 26, 1894

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Olympic Games: Kriz’s Olympic experience had numerous unique elements. He was one of a four-man team that was the first to travel overseas for Olympic competition, Antwerp, Belgium, (1920); Gold-V*, Paris, France, (1924); Team member, (1928); Kriz’s coach was Roy E. Moore who also coached the 1920 & 1928 Olympic gymnastic teams. The 1924 Paris games marked the return of the Olympics to Paris making it, along with Los Angeles, USA, and London, England, only the third city to have hosted the games twice. Athens has since been added to the two-time host list after the 2004 Olympics, and it appears London will by the first to host for the third time. In the 1924 Games, a new record, 3,100, of athletes competed. Johnny Weismuller won three gold medals and then hit the big screen as “Tarzan of the Apes.” British runners Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell won gold in the 100m and 400m events, respectively.  Their story became the basis for the film Chariots of Fire that won 4 Oscars. Jochim was honored by being designated a “Centurion” by gymnastic historian, A. B. Frederick, Ph.D. Frederick who described a “Centurion” as “ . . . those who command our attention”.

*Vaulting boards at the time were simply small ramps called beat boards with very little spring, if any. The vaulter had to first clear a high jump cross bar prior to touching the long horse. A type of “springless” beatboard sans cross bar continued at least through the World games in 1958 after which George Nissen put some spring in the apparatus. Accordingly, there was very little time to do more than straddle the horse and land.

Sources:  Contributions of by A. Bruce Frederick, author of Who’s Who and Was Who in American Gymnastics;; Jerry Wright’s Gymnastics Who’s Who 2005; Vault-Frank Cumiskey’s International Gymnast, &  . Introduction, commentary, and formatting by Larry Banner, Web Manager.

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