The Road to London is a series focusing on current and former Princeton athletes training for the 2012 Olympics. See the rest of the series here.
In the summer of 1896, four Princetonians traveled to Athens, Greece, for the first modern Olympic Games. The leader of the group was Robert Garrett, Class of 1897, the captain of the Princeton track and field team, who specialized in the shot put and also competed in the high and long jumps.
When Garrett arrived in Athens, he decided to enter the discus competition as well. Despite having never competitively thrown a discus before, his final attempt defeated all of the well-trained Greek competitors, giving him a surprise gold medal, in addition to gold in the shot put and silver in both jumps.
Since 1896, 128 Princeton competitors have competed in 13 different sports in the summer and winter Olympic Games, winning a total of 47 medals against the world’s top athletes. The days of walking into a discus competition and medaling are long gone — for many potential competitors, Olympic training is a full-time job.
In the coming days, the ‘Prince’ will feature several current and former Princeton athletes in different sports who have turned their focus to the 2012 London Olympics. Their goals may vary — some are hoping to increase Princeton’s medal count to 48, while others are aiming only to reach the Olympic Village — but all have been training to get one step closer to the biggest stage in sports.
Field Hockey: After big U.S. upset, quartet eyes Olympics
Fencing: Epee trio overcomes obstaclesTrack & Field: Athletes take varied approaches to training
Swimming: Tigers look forward to Trials experience
Original URL: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/05/04/30895/