Kent Floerke: Mormon Athlete
Kent Floerke was an Olympic athlete; he competed in the men’s triple jump at three Olympic trials and competed in the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Prior to the Olympics, he was the AAU triple jump champion in 1963, and between 1953 and 1963, he finished on the podium in the AAU triple jump eight times. He was ranked the number one triple jumper in the United States in 1960. He competed on the Kansas University track and field team and was inducted into the university’s hall of fame in 2008.
When Floerke first started competing in triple jump during high school, he ranked third in the nation that year. Not many US coaches knew how to coach the event, so Floerke trained himself by following techniques used by the Russians. During high school he also played football and basketball, making all-state in both. He also competed in high jump, long jump, and javelin. He won seven major championships in the multiple and broad jumps during his career.
Floerke was born on January 16, 1936, in Kansas City, Missouri. He converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after the 1964 Olympics.