Rafer Johnson, the Kingsburg High School graduate who went on to become a two-time Olympian and later helped start Special Olympics, has a new honor: the UCLA Medal.
That title was bestowed on him Tuesday in recognition of his work with Special Olympics.
Johnson went to UCLA and earned a degree in physical education. He got a silver medal in the 1956 Olympics as a decathlete, and then won the gold in the competition four years later. As captain of the U.S. Olympic team, he was the first African American to carry the American flag during opening ceremonies.
The UCLA Medal was established in 1979 as a way to honor graduates whose work exemplifies the ideas of the university.