Matt Hemingway

Matt Hemingway

Matt Hemingway (born October 24, 1972) is an American athlete who won a silver medal in the high jump at the 2004 Olympic Games.

2004 Olympic achievements

Hemingway achieved his olympic silver medal standing in the high jump by clearing a distance of 2.34 meters (7 ft 8 in). There is a saying "inches make champions" (anonymous) the gold medalist, Stefan Holm from Sweden, jumped just a little higher, 2.36 meters (7 ft 9 in).

According to NBC, his personal best jump on record was not at the Olympic Games, but at the US Indoor Championship where he leaped 2.38 m (7 ft 9 3/4 in).


Hemingway is 6 ft 7 in (or 2.01 m) tall and at the time of competition weighed 185 lb (or 84 kg). He originally is from Buena Vista Colorado and graduated the University of Arkansas in 1996. His best college performance was a 2nd place finish at the 1996 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

As of 2006, Hemingway leads a department at the InterActive Corporation (IAC)-owned online home improvement advertiser ServiceMagic in Golden, Colorado.

Yearly progression to the Olympics:

  • 1991 Placed 8th (a tie) at U.S. Junior Championships jumped 7 ft 4 in.
  • 1992 Jumped 6 ft 10.75 in.
  • 1993 Placed 8th - NCAA Outdoors was 15th (a tie) in qualifying at USA Outdoors. a jump of 7 ft 4.5 in.
  • 1994 Placed 4th - SEC Outdoors. Jumped 7 ft 1.5 in.
  • 1995 Placed 3rd (a tie) - NCAA Outdoors; 2nd for SEC Outdoors and 12th (a tie) at USA Outdoors. Jumped 7 ft 4.5 in.
  • 1996 He earned first alternate position for the US Olympic Team by placing 4th at USA Olympic Trials. He placed 2nd (a tie) at NCAA Outdoors, placed 3rd at SECs and was ranked fifth in U.S. Jumped 7 ft 6.5 in.
  • 1997 He placed 10th in the USA Outdoors. Jumped 7 ft 3 in.
  • 1998-99 He did not compete - worked as a whitewater rafting guide.
  • 2000 He came back to win the US Indoor Championship in 2000 with his personal best jump of 2.38 m (7 ft 9 3/4 in).
  • 2001 A stress fracture in his foot stopped him from competing.
  • 2002 His diligence paid off and he placed 2nd in the 2002 US Nationals.
  • 2003 He was runner-up in the US Nationals.
  • 2003 He placed 12th in the World Nationals.
  • 2004 He earned a place on the US Olympic Team by a jump of 2.30 (7 ft 6.5 in).


Never considered highly outside the US, Hemingway has stayed in the US rankings from Track and Field News over the years:

Year Event US rank
1995 High Jump 8th
1996 High Jump 5th
2000 High Jump 4th
2002 High Jump 3rd


In 2002, Hemingway told The Denver Post, "The scary part is, it's like a habit you can't kick. It seems like every time I quit, I keep coming back."

Hemingway has a sound attitude about winning the silver medal, even though he had jumped higher in the past. He told the BP News Agency “I’m ecstatic about winning the silver,” Hemingway said. “You don’t lose gold medals. People win them. I won a silver, and Stefan Holm won a gold. He did what he had to do. He’s the world’s number one jumper for a reason.”

Hemingway nearly didn't return to Olympic competition. He stepped away from track competition for a while because he felt it was overwhelming him. Later, his motivation to return to competition is quoted at the Olympic Team website "On his return to track: "“This is something that God has gifted me to do . . . but it doesn’t matter if you jump high or pump gas, whatever you do you should do it unto the Lord.”"

His training

His favorite training was playing basketball (lots of jumping) and running hills with his dog.

Small personal facts

In his past, Hemingway was a guide for whitewater rafting and a manager for a cellular phone store (he worked full-time while training for a chance at the Olympics).

Along with his wife, he has adopted one Ethiopian child and plan to adopt another. In the future, he and his wife plan to adopt a couple of other children.

He is a direct descendant of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway.


External links

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