Aug 08

No Ray Ewry…

FT + TMFD2 comments • 311 views

So, OK, Michael Phelps may be rather good and no doubt in four years time he will become the most medaltastic performer in any sport ever ever ever, BUT at the moment he still just trails the great Ray Ewry who won TEN individual gold medals between 1900 and 1908* (Phelps is currently on nine individually, the rest are relays). The reason Ewry is not famous is partially because, dude, name any athlete from that long ago, but mainly because of his specialism, THE STANDING JUMPS. He was Olympic Champion at the standing long jump, the standing high jump AND the standing triple jump (and, it sa here in my Giant Book Of The Olympics, world record holder of the non-olympic BACKWARDS standing long jump, 9 foot 3, if yr interested).

It’s good to see that some people are still keeping this great event alive though:

*two of these were in the intercalated games of 1906 which kind of don’t count, BUT ANYWAY…


  1. 1
    Thomas E. Carson on 20 Dec 2008 #

    Dear carsmileSteve:

    I was rumaging through the internet and miraculously came across this site and your article aboput my grandfather, Ray Ewry. What a rush!

    I am in the process of writing his story, complete with his dark years of polio, and how he conquered i and went on to win those 10 individual gold medals.

    The “my, what a small world we live in” trip is that Michael Phelps gradated from my high school, Towson HS in Baltimore and he happens tolive no more than 2 miles from my home.

    I want to thank you for laying it on the line about Ray’s individual medal count. Not many people even believe he could do those amazing things. I’d love to know what made you do the research on him or what gave you the idea.

    Write if you can!

    Best to you and yours for this upcoming holiday season.

    Tom Caron

  2. 2
    CarsmileSteve on 1 Jan 2009 #

    Hi Tom

    Thanks for your kind words, I found out about your grandfather from David Wallechinsky’s “The Complete Book of the Olympics”. I have the 2000 edition which has a paragraph on Ray (and a slightly blurry black and white photo) in the “discontinued track and field events” section, and when Phelps was being hailed in the summer, I suddenly remembered about him, and thought it would be nice to write about him. I noticed a few news organisations covered it as well (although they all seem to have got their info from the same book as me!)

    Good luck with the book.

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