What Sport Did Ben Nighthorse Campbell Play In The Olympics?
What sport did Ben Nighthorse Campbell play in the Olympics? Ben Nighthorse Campbell was an American athlete and politician who competed in judo in the 1964 Olympic Games in Sao Paulo. Though he did not medal, Campbell was the captain of the 1964 Olympic judo team.
The 1964 Olympics were the only Games in which Campbell had an opportunity to compete in Olympic competition. Although Campbell won his first match of the tournament, he was forced to retire after the Games because of a knee injury he suffered in his second-round match. At the end of the Olympic Games, Campbell was chosen to carry the American flag during the closing ceremonies.
Campbell's international career was not without a gold medal, however. The athlete won a gold medal competing in judo at the 1963 Pan-American Games. Campbell also was a three-time United States national judo champion in the open weight class.
After competing at the Olympic Games, Campbell spent time coaching the U.S. National judo team. He also authored a book, Championship Judo Training Drills, which was published in 1974.
Following his coaching career, Campbell became a politician representing Colorado in the House of Representatives from 1987-1993 and in the Senate from 1993-2005. He was the first Native American to serve in the Senate in more than 60 years. Campbell began his political career as a member of the Democratic Party and changing his allegiance in 1995, then aligning himself with the Republican Party. Campbell chose not to seek re-election in 2004 and retired from politics at the end of his term in 2005 at 71 years of age.