Reynaldo Brown is a native of Los Angeles. He attended Compton High School and then went on to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, majoring in Communications. He and his wife Carol have four children and seven grandchildren.
Brown was the first high schooler to jump seven feet. At the age of 17 and as a junior in high school, he competed in the 1968 Olympic Games, held in Mexico City. He was the youngest member of the men’s team. Then Reynaldo returned to participate as an alternate in the 1972 Olympic Games, held in Munich, Germany. He also competed in the 1971 Pan American Games. He set the small college record with a height of 7’4” in 1973.
Rey dominated the American collegiate high jump scene in the early 70s. During this time he was also ranked No. 2 in the world.
Brown accomplished something that many Division II athletes could only dream of — he competed in the Olympics not once, but twice. He competed in the NCAA Championships four times. And possibly the most remarkable note is that Reynaldo won the high jump in the NCAA Division II Championships in 1971 and 1973, and later went on to win the Division I Championships in each of those same seasons (at the time, Division II champs were allowed to compete in the higher division).
Other accolades for the Los Angeles native included All-League, All-Conference, All-American Honors and a Collegiate Athlete of the Year award. He was also a member of the President’s Physical Fitness Program.
Rey is involved in the following community activities: Southern California Olympians; Amateur Athletic Foundation’ Motivational Speaker for Learn and Play Olympic Sports Program; Annual volunteer with the Derrick Martin Basketball Camp; former volunteer with the 1984 and 2000 U.S. Olympic Committees; Hughes Aircraft Motivational Speaker; Arco Jesse Owens Track and Field and Special Olympic Programs; Boy Scouts of America; Los Angeles County Probation Department; Pee Wee Coach for the Rialto Community Center.
Brown currently volunteers with PALS (Police Activities League) of Rialto, is a volunteer track and field coach with Eisenhower High School in Rialto and also with Redlands East Valley High School in Redlands.
Rey continues to work on his computer repair and networking careers and on the setup of his foundation, focusing on the Inland Empire and Las Vegas areas.
5 QUESTIONS WITH OLYMPIAN REY BROWN
Q. What is your best exercise advice?
A. My best advice is to stretch. I started stretching in the 7th grade and I finished my high jumping career without ever pulling a muscle and never got injured and that really made me feel that stretching played a very important part in my sports life.
Q. What was the biggest health and fitness obstacle you faced growing up?
A. I was really healthy growing up, but the biggest obstacle I faced was because I’m tall I was not coordinated so I had to learn balance and control and rhythm and I had to really work on that because I was kind of clumsy.
Q. What is your fitness regimen like today?
A. I do a lot of walking and stretching. I walk at least three miles every day. I live in Victorville and it’s hot out there so I don’t like to walk outside. So I go to the mall where it is cool inside and I walk. I’ve had some health problems. I had a kidney transplant and I feel that being in shape really helped me through the transplant.
Q. What foods do you most enjoy, and which ones do you avoid?
A. I love vegetables and fruit and I love drinking a lot of water. Water was very beneficial for me and I think that is true for everybody. If you eat hamburgers and drink Coca-Cola you got to burn that stuff off because later in life it’s going to hurt you.
Q. What is the biggest benefit that you get from exercising regularly?
A. I feel I can do what I want it to do. Just feeling good. I can definitely tell. And if I don’t do it, my body is telling me to get out and move.