Amy Acuff

Amy Lyn Acuff (born July 14, 1975) is a track and field athlete from the United States. A high jump specialist, she competed in the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games as a member of USA Track and Field. Her best Olympic performance came at the 2004 Games, where her jump of 1.99 m earned her fourth place in the final.

Amy Acuff
Amy Acuff Valence 2008
Acuff at the 2008 World Indoor Championships
Personal information
Full nameAmy Lyn Acuff
BornJuly 14, 1975 (age 43)
Port Arthur, Texas
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight145 lb (66 kg)
Country United States
SportTrack and field
Event(s)High jump
ClubUCLA Bruins
TeamUSA Track & Field


Born in Port Arthur, Texas, she established herself domestically with wins at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 1995 and 1997. At the age of 22, she became the Universiade champion, edging out Monica Iagăr in the 1997 high jump final. Acuff was the winner of the 1998 Hochsprung mit Musik meeting in Arnstadt, Germany, becoming the first non-European winner in the history of the event. She went on to win at the national championships in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Six national championships, all in odd numbered years.

Her personal best is 2.01 m, which she achieved at the Weltklasse Golden League international track and field meet in Zürich, Switzerland, on August 15, 2003. She finished 4th place at that high jump competition.[1]

During the 2004 Olympic final, she was in bronze medal position through 1.99m. At 2.02m, after Vita Styopina cleared her lifetime personal best on her first attempt, Acuff strategically chose to pass at what would have been her personal best just to equal Styopina and retain bronze medal position. At the time, American television commentator Dwight Stones said "That is a decision she will think about the rest of her life."

While in high school in 1993 she was named the national Girl's "High School Athlete of the Year" by Track and Field News.[2]

Her 1.95m at the Texas Relays at age 36 on March 31, 2012 should qualify as the W35 American Masters record.

Just 17 days before her 40th birthday, on June 28, 2015, Acuff placed third at the USATF track championships in Eugene, Oregon, potentially qualifying her for 2015's US delegation to the world championships in Beijing, however she needed jump of 1.94 meters, the qualifying standard. She, and all of the other American women, were ultimately unable to meet this standard and could not compete in Beijing.

She was Inducted into the Texas Track and Field Coaches Hall of Fame, Class of 2015.[3]

Personal bests

  • High jump (outdoors): 2.01 m (6 ft 7 in) - Zurich, August 15, 2003
  • High jump (indoors): 1.97 m (6 ft 5 12 in) - Indianapolis, March 11, 1995

National titles

  • National Scholastic Indoor Champion: 1991, 1992
  • NCAA (National Collegiate) Indoor Champion: 1994, 1995, 1997
  • NCAA Outdoor Champion: 1995, 1996
  • 6 Time U.S. Outdoor Champion: 1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007
  • 5 Time U.S. Indoor Champion: 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009

International competitions

Year Competition Venue Position Notes
Representing the  United States
1992 World Junior Championships Seoul, South Korea 9th 1.85 m
1993 Pan American Junior Championships Winnipeg, Canada 1st 1.83 m
1994 World Junior Championships Lisbon, Portugal 3rd 1.88 m
1995 World Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 8th 1.93 m
1996 Olympic Games Atlanta, United States 24th (q) 1.85 m
1997 World University Games Sicily, Italy 1st 1.98 m
World Championships Athens, Greece 14th (q) 1.92 m
IAAF Grand Prix Final Fukuoka, Japan 6th 1.93 m
1999 World Championships Seville, Spain 9th 1.93 m
2000 Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 31st (q) 1.80 m
2001 World Indoor Championships Lisbon, Portugal 4th 1.96 m
World Championships Edmonton, Canada 10th 1.90 m
IAAF Grand Prix Final Melbourne, Australia 2nd 1.96 m
2003 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 10th 1.92 m
World Championships Paris, France 9th 1.90 m
2004 Olympic Games Athens, Greece 4th 1.99 m
IAAF World Athletics Final Monaco 6th 1.95 m
2005 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 8th 1.89 m
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia 13th (q) 1.90 m
IAAF World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 5th 1.94 m
World Cup Athens, Greece 3rd 1.94 m
2007 World Championships Osaka, Japan 12th 1.94 m
IAAF World Athletics Final Stuttgart, Germany 5th 1.94 m
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 6th 1.95 m
Olympic Games Beijing, China 19th (q) 1.89 m
2009 World Championships Berlin, Germany 12th 1.87 m
2012 Olympic Games London, United Kingdom 20th (q) 1.85 m
  • Results with a Q indicate Acuff's overall position in the qualifying round.


Amy Acuff is also known for her career as a model. She was the subject of modeling projects, media stories, and photography relating to her sports career as a track and field athlete. Acuff was even featured on national television commercials. A new challenge was taken in 1999 as she successfully organized the making of the 2000 Omnilite Millennium Calendar of Champions, which featured nude/semi-nude photographs of Acuff and 11 other U.S. female track and field stars, with half the proceeds going to the Florence Griffith-Joyner Youth Foundation.[4]

Acuff's cover appearances include:

  • Esquire, "Women of Summer: Strength & Beauty: A Portfolio of America's 10 Sexiest Athletes"
  • Men's magazines, such as Maxim and FHM
  • The 2004 Olympics were noted for the large number of female Olympians who posed nude—following in the footsteps of the 2000 Matildas and the Omni calendar. Of the 2004 examples the most visible was Acuff's appearance on the cover and within Playboy's "The Women of the Olympics" issue.[5][6]
  • Acuff appears across the top of the title for The Complete Book of the Olympics: 2008 Edition.[7]

Personal life

Acuff graduated from Calallen High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. She attended UCLA and was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007. Acuff went on to study at the Academy of Oriental Medicine in Austin, Texas, and become a licensed acupuncturist.[8]

She is distantly related to country musician Roy Acuff (her grandfather's second cousin).[9]

She is married to Tye Harvey, a retired pole vaulter. They have a daughter, Elsa. [10]

In addition to being a model, Acuff is also an artist with work on display with the [11] Art of the Olympians.


  1. ^ Aquitania, Ray E. M.D.(2001)Jock-Docs: World-Class Athletes Wearing White Coats ISBN 9781609106126
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-10-13. Retrieved 2011-10-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Track and Field News High School AOY
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2017-01-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ 1
  5. ^ O'Conner, Ian (August 13, 2004). "Posing for magazines: Athlete or sexual plaything?". USA Today.
  6. ^ Boswell, Laura (October 13, 2004). "Olympians posing nude, poses questions". ESPN.
  7. ^ Wallechinsky, David; Jaime Loucky (May 2008). The Complete Book of the Olympics: 2008 Edition. Aurum Press. ISBN 978-1-84513-330-6.
  8. ^ 1
  9. ^ Acuff-Ecoff Family Archives
  10. ^ "Olympic high jumper takes leap into motherhood",
  11. ^ "Art of the Olympians | Amy Acuff". Retrieved 2016-05-16.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Angela Bradburn
Tisha Waller
Karol Damon
Tisha Waller
Tisha Waller
USA Women's High Jump Champion
Succeeded by
Tisha Waller
Tisha Waller
Tisha Waller
Tisha Waller
Chaunte Howard
1994 World Junior Championships in Athletics – Women's high jump

The women's high jump event at the 1994 World Junior Championships in Athletics was held in Lisbon, Portugal, at Estádio Universitário de Lisboa on 21 and 23 July.

1995 World Championships in Athletics – Women's high jump

These are the official results of the Women's High Jump event at the 1995 IAAF World Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. There were a total number of 38 participating athletes, with two qualifying groups and the final held on Sunday August 13, 1995.

2001 World Championships in Athletics – Women's high jump

These are the results of the Women's High Jump event at the 2001 World Championships in Athletics in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships – Women's high jump

The Women's high jump event at the 2003 IAAF World Indoor Championships was held on March 15–16.

2003 World Championships in Athletics – Women's high jump

These are the official results of the Women's High Jump event at the 2003 World Championships in Paris, France. There were a total number of 25 participating athletes, with the final held on Sunday 31 August 2003.

2005 World Championships in Athletics – Women's high jump

The Women's High Jump event at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics was held at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium on August 6 and August 8.

2007 World Championships in Athletics – Women's high jump

The women's high jump event at the 2007 World Championships in Athletics took place on August 31, 2007 (qualification) and 2 September 2007 (final) at the Nagai Stadium in Osaka, Japan.

Abdihakem Abdirahman

Abdihakem "Abdi" Abdirahman (Somali: Cabdihakiim Cabdiraxmaan, Arabic: عبد الحكيم عبد الرحمن‎) (born January 1, 1977) is a Somali-American long-distance runner. He was a four-time Olympian competing for the United States in the 10,000 meters and the marathon.


Acuff is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Amy Acuff (born 1975), American athlete

Eddie Acuff (1903-1956), American actor

Jon Acuff, American author

Roy Acuff (1903-1992), American musician

Ruth Acuff, American singer-songwriter

Aretha Thurmond

Aretha Thurmond, née Hill (born August 14, 1976 in Seattle) is an American discus thrower. Her personal best distance is 65.86 metres (216.1 ft), achieved in March 2004 in Marietta.

Thurmond is a 1994 graduate of Renton High School and in 1998 she graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in sociology.Thurmond is currently employed with USA Track & Field as the Associate Director of International Teams.

Athletics at the 1997 Summer Universiade – Women's high jump

The women's high jump event at the 1997 Summer Universiade was held at the Stadio Cibali in Catania, Italy. The final took place on 31 August.

Breaux Greer

Breaux Greer (born October 19, 1976) is a retired American track and field athlete who competed in the javelin throw. He is the current American record holder in the event with a throw of 91.29 m (299.5 ft), achieved on June 21, 2007. This was also the best throw in the world for almost eight years until surpassed by Julius Yego in 2015. He is an eight-time American Champion.

His coach was Finnish javelin thrower Kari Ihalainen. He appeared on the second season of American Gladiators as Hurricane.

Curt Clausen

Curt Clausen (born October 9, 1967) is an American race walker. He placed 4th 50 km event in the 1999 IAAF World Championships in Athletics, but after 2 years was later awarded the 3rd place bronze medal, after the winner was stripped of his title for a doping violation.

Derek Miles

Derek Miles (born September 28, 1972) is an American pole vaulter, from Tea, South Dakota. A former pole vaulter for The University of South Dakota Track and Field team, Miles is currently an assistant coach for the Coyotes. In 2004, he placed seventh in the Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Miles was originally at fourth place in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China, but Ukrainian Denys Yurchenko who originally finished third, was disqualified in November 2016 due to use of dehydrochlormethyltestosterone. On 17 April 2017, Derek Miles received the Olympic bronze medal.His personal best vault is 5.85 metres, achieved in September 2008 in Berlin, Germany. The vault, completed next to the Brandenburg Gate, was part of a promotional competition for the 2009 World Championships in Athletics. Miles trains with Earl Bell in Jonesboro, Arkansas at Bell Athletics. He is represented by Karen Locke.

He attended Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks, California.

Melvin Lister

Melvin "Mel" Lister (born August 29, 1977 in New York City, New York) is an American long jumper and triple jumper.

He finished fifth in long jump at the 2001 World Indoor Championships. He also competed at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games without reaching the final.

His personal best long jump is 8.49 metres, achieved in May 2000 in Baton Rouge. His personal best triple jump is 17.78 metres, achieved in July 2004 in Sacramento. He also had 20.51 seconds in the 200 metres.

Lister competed collegiately at track and field powerhouse University of Arkansas.

Reese Hoffa

Michael Reese Hoffa (born Maurice Antawn Chism; October 8, 1977 in Evans, Georgia) is an American shot putter. Reese won the shot put in the 2006 World Indoor Track and Field Championships and in the 2007 World Outdoor Championships. He also won the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. His personal bests stand at 22.11 m (72' 6.25") indoor and 22.43 m (73' 7") outdoor. In 2012, he threw over 21 meters in competition for the 100th time, putting him in rarefied air in the throwing community. Hoffa was adopted at the age of four.

Robert Gary

Robert Gary (born April 5, 1973) is a retired American track and field athlete who competed in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the 1996 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics.

Tye Harvey

Tye Harvey (born September 25, 1974) is an American pole vaulter.

Harvey won the silver medal at the 2001 World Indoor Championships in Lisbon with a vault of 5.90 metres.

In March 2001 in Atlanta Harvey established a career best of 5.93 metres, on an indoor track. [1] His personal best outdoor vault was 5.81 metres, achieved in July 2000 in San Marcos, TX.

Since 2004, he has been married to Amy Acuff (born on July 14, 1975).

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