Brian Oldfield, who starred in shot put, dies at 71

Brian Oldfield, the brash, bearish shot put star who helped popularize the spin technique, has died. He was 71.

He died Sunday in his hometown of Elgin, Illinois, USA Track and Field said on its website.

Oldfield was the first to throw the shot put over 72 feet, and he kept building on that mark. He was also the first to reach 73, 74 and 75 feet. His 75-foot throw in 1975 still ranks fourth in the world. He finished sixth in the shot put in the 1972 Olympics.

Oldfield was 6-foot-5 and about 275 pounds during his prime. He had long hair and occasionally smoked cigarettes between throws and once told Sports Illustrated that ''When God invented man, he wanted him to look like me.''

He also competed in the Highland Games and the World's Strongest Man competition. Oldfield starred in college at Middle Tennessee in the 1960s.

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