"Be the best that you can be!"That's the motto of Rafer Johnson, seen here carrying the torch at the 1984 Olympics during the opening ceremonies for the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Rafer Johnson Junior High is proud to be named after hometown product, Olympic Gold Medalist Rafer Johnson.Rafer Johnson earned his gold medal in the decathlon in the 1960 Olympics in Rome, as well as a silver medal in 1956. This was the peak of his distinguished amateur career. He had been a track standout at Kingsburg High School and at UCLA (where he was also Student Body President). He was honored with the Sullivan Award for outstanding amateur athletes in 1960 and as the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1958.
After the Olympics Rafer helped to promote the Peace Corps, then later found his calling with the Special Olympics Southern California, where he he was one of the founding members. In 1994, Rafer Johnson was also one of the original inductees into the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. In 1998, the ESPN named him as one of the 100 Greatest North American Athletes of the 20th Century and in 2006, the NCAA named him one of the 100 Most Influential Student Athletes of the past 100 years.
We are proud to be associated with Rafer as he is not only a great athlete but a very caring person who takes a serious interest in our school and our students, returning several times each year to participate in our activities.
Thank you, Rafer!