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Rafer Johnson returns to UCLA as special assistant

August 4, 2011 |  4:11 pm


Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson is returning to UCLA as special assistant to Athletic Director Dan Guerrero. Johnson will work part time reaching out to alumni and in the area of student-athlete development.

“Rafer represents all that is great about UCLA athletics,” Guerrero said. “ … He is an Olympic champion and has spent most of his adult life in the service of others, as illustrated by his commitment to the Special Olympics. It is a thrill to have Rafer on our staff.”

Johnson, the gold-medal winner in the 1960 Olympic decathlon, has spent years working to help kids with disabilities. He is chairman for the board of directors of the Southern California Special Olympics and will continue to serve in that capacity.

In the 1970s, he was a member of the President's Commission on Olympic Sports. He was the final torchbearer for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, lighting the torch at the Coliseum.


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Photo: Rafer Johnson lights the Olympic flame at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Credit: Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times