Haruhiro Yamashita

  • Japan

By the time he retired after the 1966 World Championships, Mr. Haruhiro Yamashita earned four World medals, two Olympic gold medals, and gymnastics immortality with his signature vault.

At the 1964 Olympics, Yamashita’s 9.90 earned him the gold medal on his best event, the vault, defeating his nearest rival by nearly half a point.

Haruhiro Yamashita was born in 1938, in Uwajima, in the Ehime Prefecture in Japan. His career took place during the glory days of Japanese men’s gymnastics. 

Long known for their stylish and technically precise routines, the Japanese men dominated the world gymnastics scene for 20 years — from the 1950s to the 1970s.

At the 1962 World Championships, Yamashita contributed to the team gold medal. He also placed 7th in the all-around, second on the vault, and fourth on the floor exercise and parallel bars. 

By the time of the opening of the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, the Japanese men were poised to dominate the Games in their home country. And they did. 

That year, Yamashita helped to lead his team to the gold medal. He was sixth in the all-around, fourth on the pommel horse, and won the individual gold medal on his best event, the vault.  Yamashita’s 9.90 earned him the gold medal, defeating his nearest rival by nearly half a point. 

Legendary gymnastics greats, like Endo, Takemoto and Yamashita, were not only atop the awards podium often, but they each left their marks on the sport with namesake moves. 

By the time he retired after the 1966 World Championships, Mr. Haruhiro Yamashita earned four World medals, two Olympic gold medals, and gymnastics immortality with his signature vault. 

1962 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Gold Medalist & World Champion:
    • Vault
    • Team

1964 OLYMPIC GAMES

  • Gold Medalist & Olympic Champion:
    • Vault
    • Team

1966 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Gold Medalist & Olympic Champion:
    • Vault
    • Team

2000 INTERNATIONAL GYMNASTICS HALL OF FAME

  • Inducted as a member of the Class of 2000

Induction Speech Video