Roger Kingdom is a former sprint hurdler from the United States. He was born August 26, 1962 in Vienna, Georgia. He is the third of six children by Roy and Christine Kingdom. Growing up, Roger spent a large portion of his childhood working on his Grandfather Matt Wallace’s farm. It was there Roger learned how to set goals for himself and how to overcome any obstacle in his way. As a young athlete, Roger was a jack of all trades, but managed to master one–the high hurdles.
While attending Vienna High School, Roger was an athlete of note who in his formative years excelled at the high jump and discus. He was also a noteworthy American football player. Originally, he attended the University of Pittsburgh on a football scholarship, but excelled on the track team. Roger had a long and distinguished career on the track in the 110 meter high hurdles. Kingdom is a five time National US Champion (1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1995). He was ranked five times number one in the world by Track and Field News (1984, 1985, 1988, 1989, and 1990). He also have gold Medals in the World Cup (1989), World University Games (1989), World Indoor Championships (1989), Two in the Pan American Games (1983, 1995), and a Bronze Medal in the Outdoor World Championships (1995). In the Seoul Olympics Kingdom joined the late Lee Calhoun (1956 & 1960), as one of only two men ever to win consecutive Olympic titles in the 110 hurdles (1984 & 1988).
In Zurich Switzerland on August 16, 1989 Kingdom separated himself from the others by surpassing the World and American mark of 12.93 set by Renaldo Nehemiah. He became the second person ever to break the 13-second barrier. His new mark of 12.92 clearly established him as one of the greatest high hurdlers ever to compete.
Roger’s mark of 12.92 was broken three years later by Colin Jackson at the 1993 World Championships with a best of 12.91. However, his mark remained the American Record for 17 years. In 1991 Roger’s career was hampered when he sustained an injury while playing a pick-up game of basketball on his last day of a two-week training session while visiting Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He underwent surgery to repair ligament damage and remove bone chips from his knee. Some people thought this was the beginning of the end of Roger’s illustrious career. They were wrong. As stated by Dr. Freddie Fu, Roger’s physician at the time, “You can never underestimate the power of an athlete.” Roger came back to win the 1995 US National Championships, and for the first time in his career earned a place on the World Championship Team to compete in Gothenburg Sweden. He was picked as one of the favorites, but tendinitis in his weakening knee prevented him from winning the Gold. He did, however, win the Bronze medal in his first attempt at the Outdoor World Championship.
Roger officially retired from active competition in August of 1999. Today, he competes sparingly in selected master’s events while continuing to travel the world working with young athletes on every continent. Roger now resides in Orlando Florida.