Biography of Olympic Gold Medal Winner Ray C. Ewry Part 2

About the ten time gold medal Olympic winner Ray C. Ewry history and biography of the footnote athlete.


Who is Ray Ewry?

In the 1904 Olympics, at St. Louis, Ray was the undisputed favorite in all three events. He was considered to be in a class by himself at this time in his career. He did not disappoint.

Ray easily won the standing high jump and standing triple jump honors for the second straight Olympic. He not only took top glory in the standing broad jump, but established the best mark on record in this category, 11 ft. 4 7/8 in.

In the Unofficial Olympics of 1906, Ewry was able to add only two gold medallions to his coffers, because the standing hop, step, and jump was no longer part of the Games. By merely showing up for the two remaining standing jumps, Ewry limited the competitions to struggles for second place. The Olympic authorities do not recognize the medals Ray won in this unsanctioned competition in Athens.

Ray Ewry's final Olympic performance was in London in 1908. At 35 he was considered the "senior citizen" of track and field. Although he didn't smash any of his own records, he did manage to remain invincible in the standing jumps. When the victory jewelry was presented, Mr. Ewry sported his ninth and tenth gold medals.

Following the 1908 Games, Ray eased into retirement. Some thought it was due to the lack of competition, while others said he sensed the demise of his beloved jumping events. Both may have been correct. The standing broad jump and high jump were removed from the Olympic program after the 1912 Games.

Some of Ewry's most amazing records will never be seen in an Olympic record book. He once took three successive standing leaps (indoors) that measured 35 ft. 8 3/4 in. He reportedly surpassed his Olympic record in the standing broad jump with an 11 ft. 6 in. mark, set in New York in 1906. And he miraculously did a standing broad jump of 9 ft. 3 in.--backwards.

The retirement years of Ray Ewry are vague at best. It appears that the sports world banished both him and his events to immediate extinction. Ray died on Sept. 27, 1937, at the age of 63.

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