102219 Jim Ryun

Jim Ryun outpaces his opponent in the Olympics.

With a mission to motivate and inspire Valley residents, American Olympian —world record holder in the mile, 1500 meters, 800 meters and 800 yards — and former US Congressman Jim Ryun will visit Solvang on Tuesday, Oct. 22 to talk about dreaming big and how failures can actually serve as guideposts for accessing one's true gifts. 

The dinner event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church, located at 1825 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang, and is open to the public on a first come first served basis. 

Ryun, who served in the US House of Representatives from 1996 to 2007, representing the 2nd District in Kansas, was also a three-time Olympian in the 1500 meters event, and a silver medalist at the 1968 Mexico City Games, according to his website.

In 1964 at age 17, he became the first high school boy to break the 4-minute-mile (3:59.0) at the Compton Relays in California — a record that held nearly 36 years before being broken.

Ryun's feats include three mile titles and setting outdoor world records.

In 1966, the Kansas University graduate won the Sullivan Award and was Sports Illustrated’s ‘‘Sportsman of the Year," and in 2003, ESPN.com selected Ryun as the best high school athlete ever.

Over the past 50 years, Ryun has spoken at thousands of conferences, workshops, clinics, running camps, churches and various other venues.

Ryun has authored a number of books with his sons, including his most recent release "Courage to Run," a 60-day devotional reflecting on his life as an athlete, parent and Congressman.

Cost to attend is $20 per person. Email RSVP Rolf Richter at ngianis3@gmail.com or call 805-688-2362.

Lisa André covers Valley Life for Santa Ynez Valley News. 

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