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People of Opelousas – Rodney Milburn – Olympic Gold Medal Winner

Opelousas native Rodney “Rod” Milburn, track star at J. S. Clark High School (under the leadership of Coach Claude T. Paxton) and Southern University in Baton Rouge, dominated the 110-meter hurdles during the 1970s. He tied the world record three times and won the Gold Medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. He received many honors over his career including the 1971 and 1973 James J. Corbett Memorial Award.  He was elected to the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1988 and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1993. Milburn was honored in his hometown of Opelousas on several occasion, including Rodney Milburn Day in 1971, A Salute to Rodney Milburn in 1972, and the naming of Rodney Milburn Boulevard in North City Park on July 3, 1992. Milburn died on November 11, 1997, in a work-related accident in Baton Rouge, LA.