History of  Dick Held's career with javelin design and production

Article courtesy of  Dick Held. (01/02/2000)

1950-1952, Dick's brother Bud  was one of the top three throwers in the world .Difficulty in obtaining good  javelins from Finland caused him to repair broken implements for his own use and  to notice at the same time differences which affected performance He  experimented first with pieces of Karhu implements and then built a few from  local materials with same encompassing radical design Bud soon realized he did  not have time to continuing this and asked Dick if he wished to build some  javelins for competition.

1953, while running a family  business Dick a graduate electrical engineer and electrical contractor, took  over the repairs and experimentation. During the next year he built many test  implements which Bud, Bill Miller and Cy Young used in competition, Early that  year Bud set a world record with one of the implements made from pieces of  redesigned Finnish parts later that year Bill Miller broke Bud's new record with  an implement built by Dick entirely from American material. This record was  legal in every respect but the implement was broken on subsequent throws that  day and when glued back together the balance point, because of the added weight  of the glue, was found to be 1/128th of an inch too far back. Even though the  implement had met all specifications and been checked by the weight master  before the meet, the controversy caused IAAF approval to be tabled. A year later  when Bud set a longer record the issue was dropped Bill although recognized by  many as record holder, never received  The IAAF recognition he deserved,

Complaints to IAAF that the javelin was only available  to a few throwers giving some Americans unfair advantages caused Dick to begin  commercial sales through Lakeside Supply Company to all who wished to use the  javelin.

1954, World wide sales Began.

1955, Bud Held set second world record with Dick Held  designed and produced implement.

1956, Europeans break Bud Held's record several times  using Dick Held javelins.

1957-1960, Dick introduces first widely successful  aluminum javelin. Several rule changes continue need for research and  experimentation Al Cantello sets world record with new Dick Held aluminum  model.

1960,. Carl. Lievore sets new world record with Dick  Held aluminum javelin redesigned after IAAF rule change in early  1960.

1964, Dick Held. invents and patents machine for tapering metal tubing.  This machine makes the low cost production of quality javelins  possible.

1965, Production of wood javelins end.

1968, Lakeside Supply Company  sold to Head. Ski Company which is soon taken over by AMF Dick Reid continues as  consultant and returns to engineering graduate work emphasizing composites at  San Diego State University.

1970, Dick continues graduate  engineering studies at Colorado State while serving as throws coach.

1972; Dick Held. spends year as  Head Javelin Coach for Greece.

1973, Dick independently forms  white water Boats which produces fiberglass kayaks and canoes.

1974, Dick hired as AMF - Pacer  consultant and Juris Terauds collaborate to introduce a new design, the Dick  Held Custom model, This model was a radical departure and it was not until 1978  that it began to win wide acceptance.

1981, Dick Held hired by AMF  full time to head the javelin department of AMF Pacer Whitewater Boats  operations is closed.

1982, Bob Rogge set's new US  javelin record using Dick Held Custom II.

1983, Tom Petranoff set a new  world record using Dick Held Custom III.

1984, Uwe Hohn sets world  record using Dick field Custom III, 344') over 100 meters for the first time

1986, Dick Held leaves Pacer  with the intention of permanently retiring New IAAF rule resuts in a 25 meter reduction of throws

1987, Challenged by the new  rule Dick Held joins OTE as general manager He again builds machinery and begins  production of new style javelins under the OTE trademark. The OTE javelin, in  spite of the lack of financial support gradually gains popularity. Two worlds records are set with it  in the 1990s.

1993 - A very successful Dick Held Designed all metal  discus is introduced and quickly gains wide acceptance in the 1996  Olympics.

1998 - Dick Held retires from active management when  OTE is acquired by Gill Athletics. Dick continues as a consutant in javelin  design and production.