Kiviat won a silver medal at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic
Games in the
1,500-Meter Run (3:59.9). A one-time
roommate of Jim Thorpe, the 1912
Games’ pentathlon and decathlon gold
medalist, Kiviat was the oldest living
American Olympian at the time of his
One of the great middle-distance
runners in the world prior to World
War I, Kiviat at one point simultaneously
held World Indoor records in the
600-Yard, 1,000-Yard, and One-Mile
events—the only person in history to accomplish that
Kiviat established his first World
record while still a high school student.
In 1909, he registered 2:47.2 in the Two-Thirds Mile Run.
The previous mark had stood for 21 years. On June 2, 1912,
Kiviat broke the World record in the
1,500-meters, clocking 3.56.8. Six days
later, he lowered that record to 3:55.8 at
the U.S. Olympic trials. That mark
stood as a World record for six years
and as a U.S. record until 1928.
Kiviat won nine U.S. National
Championships between 1911 and
1914, at distances from 600 Yards to
Cross Country. Also, during that time,
he won the Baxter Mile at the New York
Athletic Club Games, the most important
mile event in America.
He established himself as one of
the great indoor distance runners of
all-time in 1911, when the 5'5", 110-pound trackster won
both the U.S.
Amateur Athletic Union 600-Yard and
1,000-Yard Indoor Championships. It
was the first time “the double” had
ever been achieved. In 1913, he repeated
the unique feat, this time capturing
both victories on the same night! That
same year, he demonstrated his versatility
by winning the American Six-Mile Cross Country title and
the U.S. Indoor One-Mile record of
In 1985, Kiviat was inducted into
the U.S. Track and Field Hall of Fame.