Track & Field (Triple Jump), 1980, 1984 and 1988 Olympics
Few athletes have ever embodied the Olympic spirit as well as Willie Banks. As a member of three Olympic Teams in track and field in 1980, 1984 and 1988 and of two World Championship teams in 1983 and 1987, Willie learned much about the values of the Olympic Games. In 1985, he set the world record in the triple jump; a record that was not broken for an incredible ten years. For his accomplishment Willie was the Athlete of the Year by both Track & Field News and the United States Olympic Committee in 1985.
After his retirement from world-class competition, Willie became immediately involved in the Olympic movement, serving as chair of the USA Track and Field Athletes Advisory Committee. Later he was elected President of the United States Olympians Association and still holds that position today. He also serves as an advisor to the World Olympians Association.
Willie Banks is a great leader. During his term as President of the United States Olympians, he continues to make great progress in unifying the 7,000 Olympians in America strengthening chapters across the country. He has been instrumental in bringing the United States Paralympians into the Olympian Association and has elevated the status of the Olympians association within the United States Olympic Committee by gaining respect and through his perseverance.
Willie Banks has been a staunch supporter of World Fit. He has watched the program grow from an idea to a national program and has served as an Olympian mentor for thousands of middle school students in Oceanside California, the place he grew up. Today, Willie not only stays fit, he continues to break Master’s world records in track and field. Willie loves the Olympic movement but much more importantly, he lives it every single day.