For the next 2 weeks or so, I am going to dedicate my public domain images to the Olympics – specifically to the London Games. London has hosted a games before 2012 – over 100 years ago in 1908. (Actually, this is London’s third modern Olympics, having also hosted them in 1948.)
We all remember Michael Phelp’s amazing 8 gold medals in one Games (Beijing 2008), making him second in total medals won (16 total – 6 gold and 2 bronze in Athens in 2004 and 8 gold in Beijing). (The Olympic athlete with the most medals total is Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina, with 18 total including 9 gold.)
But how about American track and field athlete Raymond Clarence “Ray” Ewry? Ewry dominated a sport no longer seen at the Olympics – the standing jump. He competed in the standing long jump, the standing high jump, and the standing triple jump (an event not in the 1908 Games but in the 1900 and 1904 Games). Unlike today’s long and high jumpers, the standing jumps were performed without a “run up”. Ewry’s world record for standing long jump (3.48 m/11 ft 5 in), set at the 1904 St. Louis games, was still standing when the event was discontinued internationally in the 1930s. (Today it is only a national competition in Norway, where the current world record of 3.71 m was set by Arne Tvervaag in 1968.) He also set a world record for standing high jump (1.65 m) (the official world record for standing high jump today is 1.90 m) at the 1900 Games.
Ewry took Gold in 1900, 1904, and 1908, for a total of 8 golds in the standing jump events. What makes him truly amazing is that Ewry contracted polio as a child, and for a time was confined to a wheelchair. It was feared that he might never walk. He overcame that prediction to become an Olympic athlete.
Here are two pictures of Ewry – alas neither one taken in 1908, but rather at his two previous Olylmpics. Click on them to download them full-sized.
Tags: athlete, bw, Edwardian, high jump, jpg, London, London 1908, long jump, Louis, man, men, Olympics, Olympics 1904, photograph, Ray Ewry, sports, St, St. Louis Olympics 1904, Summer, track and field