American sprinter and two-time Olympic gold medallist, Thomas William Courtney, who was popularly known as Tom Courtney, has died. The sprinter’s death occurred at an assisted living facility in Naples, Florida. He was 90.
According to his son, Tom Courtney Jn., the Air Force veteran Tom Courtney’s cause of death is amyloidosis.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, on August 17, 1933, Courtney grew up in Livingston and attended James Caldwell High School, where he established himself as one of the best high school runners in the state before accepting a track scholarship to Fordham University.
Courtney was the underdog in the 800 meters, at the 1956 Olympic games held in Melbourne, Australia. He was not the fastest runner in the field, but he was known for his strength and endurance. In the final, Courtney made a late surge to win by inches over Derek Johnson of Great Britain.
Courtney’s gold medal was the first for an American in the 800 meters since Mal Whitfield won in 1948. He also won a silver medal as a member of the 4×400 meter relay team.
After the Olympics, Courtney retired from competitive running. He worked as a teacher and coach for many years.
The Director of Athletics at Fordham University, Edward M. Kull, described the deceased as big supporter of the school’s track and field program. In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kull said; “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Fordham great Tom Courtney….Tom was a tremendous supporter of our track and field program.”
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Fordham great Tom Courtney. Tom was a double Olympic Gold medalist in the 1956 Olympic Games in the 800m and 4x400m events. Tom was a tremendous supporter of our track and field program #BronxBuilthttps://t.co/lRY6qD1uFa
— Edward M. Kull (@EddieKullRamsAD) August 23, 2023
What is amyloidosis, the cause of death of Tom Courtney?
Amyloidosis is a condition in which abnormal proteins called amyloids build up in organs and tissues throughout the body. These amyloid deposits can interfere with the normal function of the organs and tissues, leading to a variety of symptoms.
AL amyloidosis, AA amyloidosis, ATTR amyloidosis, and TTR amyloidosis are the most common types of the condition. However, the one suffered by the late sprinter has not been disclosed.
Currently, there is no cure for this condition. But health experts manage it for those that battle with it.