I’d love to hear who are your summer Olympic heroes. You can send your comments by clicking on “LEAVE A COMMENT” located right above this.
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As I have been watching the summer Olympics in London, I have been wondering what has become of my summer Olympic heroes of yesteryears. The last posting, my heroes came from the 1952 and 1956 Games. My favorite summer sports then—and now—are swimming, diving, gymnastics and track and field. You also can search the web for your own heroes.
Most of this information came from that mega grand site wikipedia.org.
To access more information about each athlete, put your cursor on the name. Click and open in a new tab. If you want even more information, put that name into your search engine, such as Google.
The 1960 Olympics in Rome were the first games to be televised internationally, which furthered the fame of my heroes of that year, Wilma Rudolph and Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay)
Wilma Rudolph, the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s, was the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games. At the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, she took the gold in the 100 and 200 m and in the 4 x 100 m relay (She also had a bronze in the 4 x 100 m relay, 1956 Melbourne Olympics.).
Rudolph helped promote women’s track to prominence in United States and was a civil rights and women’s rights pioneer.
She retired from track competition in 1962 at age 22 to enter Tennessee State University where she earned a degree in elementary education. Rudolph then taught in an elementary school, coached high school track and was a sports commentator on national television. She also mothered her four children.
Rudolph died of cancer 1994, at age 54.
Then still named Cassius Clay, Muhammad Ali extended his amateur fame by winning the Light Heavyweight gold medal in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. He began his monumental professional boxing career immediately after this victory.
Today, Muhammad Ali’s achievements and life have made him a cultural icon for all the world. In addition to being considered the greatest sports figure of our times, he is know as a philanthropist and social activist.
My next person summer Olympic hero emerged in the 1968 games in Mexico City where Debbie Meyer, a 16-year old student, won the 200, 400, and 800 m freestyle swimming events. She was the first swimmer to win three individual gold medals in a single Olympics.
Having broken twenty world records during her career, Meyer retired from swimming competitions in 1972. Her honors include the United States Olympic Hall of Fame, the James E. Sullivan Award, Associated Press Athlete of the Year and the American National High School Hall of Fame.
Meyer and her husband Bill Weber own the Debbie Meyer Swim School in Carmichael, California. She also teaches water safety to children and adults and coaches the Truckee Tahoe Swim Team in Truckee, California. They have two adult children.
Munich Summer Olympics: The Massacre of the Israeli Olympic Team
During the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich, the members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage and killed by the Palestinian group called Black September.
May these true heroes be remembered forever.
- Moshe Weinberg (wrestling coach)
- Yossef Romano (weightlifter)
- Ze’ev Friedman (weightlifter)
- David Berger (weightlifter)
- Yakov Springer (weightlifting judge)
- Eliezer Halfin (wrestler)
- Yossef Gutfreund (wrestling referee)
- Kehat Shorr (shooting coach)
- Mark Slavin (wrestler)
- Andre Spitzer (fencing coach)
- Amitzur Shapira (track coach)
The horror of this Munich Olympic Massacre must not be forgotten and never be allowed to be repeated.