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Charles Austin

  • Olympic Gold Medalist
  • Three Time Olympian
  • Patented Inventor / Creator of the Total Body Board
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Charles Austin has achieved a level of success of which most people can only dream. An Olympic gold medalist, Austin is the American and Olympic high jump record holder, two-time World Champion, and a nine-time national track and field high jump champion. He is the founder and owner of So High Sports and Fitness. Charles has

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Born in Bay City, Texas, in 1967, Charles Austin was the youngest of 10 children. With an absent father, his mother workedlong hours and the family relied mainly on food stamps. Austin worked to help with expenses, studied hard in school and played sports. He was a senior in high school without any way to pay for college, when some friends convinced him to try high jumping for the track team. He cleared six feet on his first try to make the team and finished the year with a personal best of 6′ 11″.

Austin’s success landed him an athletic scholarship at Southwest Texas University (now Texas State University). After a difficult first few years, he climbed the ranks in the NCAA, shattering school records and his senior year, won the NCAA Outdoor Championship and was the number one college high jumper in the country.

When he wasn’t in school, Austin competed overseas on the international circuit. He traveled around Europe competing against some of the best high jumpers in the world. With each meet he gained more confidence, conquered more opponents and increased his reputation.

In 1991, Austin graduated with a degree in business administration. Within the year he was the gold medalist at the 1991 World Championship and was a contender to win in the Olympics. However, when he arrived at the 1992 Olympic trials there was speculation on whether or not he should compete, due to a knee injury. He pushed forward, making it on to the U.S. team, but his confidence was shaken and a poor performance cost him a medal.

The trouble continued, forcing Austin to have major surgery and threatening to end his career. He was left to watch from home as his fellow athletes competed in the 1993 World Championship. But while his knee healed, Austin’s passion continued to grow. In 1994, he began his journey back to the top of the world high jump ranks. Within a few years, he had regained his strength and was once again performing at a high level.

When he returned to the Olympics in 1996, he did so with a new determination and mental focus. His gold winning jump of 7′ 10″ was a new Olympic record and still stands today.

Now, Austin shares his story of hope of helping others pursue their dreams, despite difficult circumstances and setbacks in life. In his new book Head Games: Life’s Greatest Challenges (September 2007), Austin reveals the battles fought and victories won throughout his career as a professional high jumper. He shares the roadmap he followed to achieve his goals and offers advice for others hoping to find success.

Austin lives with his wife and three sons in San Marcos, Texas.

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