Harold Maurice Abrahams (December 15, 1899 – January 14, 1978) was a British and (English) athlete. Educated at Repton School and then at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University, he was an Olympic champion in 1924 in the 100-Metre Dash, a feat depicted in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire.
Born in Bedford, a sprinter and long jumper since young, he continued to sport while studying in Cambridge, which earned him a spot in the 1920 Olympic team. These Games were no great success; Abrahams was eliminated in the quarter-finals of both the 100 m and 200 m, and he finished 20th in the long jump. As a part of the British relay team, he took fourth place in the 4 x 100 m.
After dominating the national long jump and sprint events, Abrahams was an outsider for the medals at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, France. He won the 100 m, beating all the American favourites. In the 200 m, he reached the final, in which he ranked sixth and last. As an opening runner for the 4 x 100 m team, Abrahams won a second Olympic medal, a silver one; Abrahams did not compete in the long jump.
A foot injury forced Abrahams to end his career the following year. He subsequently served as an athletics journalist for forty years, also commentating the sport for the BBC radio.
Harold Abrahams died in Enfield.
|Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Olympic Champions in Men's 100 m|
|Tom Burke | Frank Jarvis | Archie Hahn | Reggie Walker | Ralph Craig | Charlie Paddock | Harold Abrahams | Percy Williams | Eddie Tolan | Jesse Owens | Harrison Dillard | Lindy Remigino | Bobby Joe Morrow | Armin Hary | Bob Hayes | Jim Hines | Valeri Borzov | Hasely Crawford | Allan Wells | Carl Lewis | Linford Christie | Donovan Bailey | Maurice Greene | Justin Gatlin|
|Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Inter-war British Olympic champions in men's athletics|
|1920: Albert Hill (800 m & 1500 m) | 1920 Percy Hodge (3000 m steeplechase) | 1924: Harold Abrahams (100 m) | 1924: Eric Liddell (400 m) | 1924 & 1928 Douglas Lowe (800 m) | 1928 David Burghley (400 m hurdles) | 1932 Thomas Hampson (800 m) | 1932 Thomas Green (50 km walk) | 1936 Harold Whitlock (50 km walk)|