Exhibit showcases Penn Staters in the Olympics

June 29, 2012

“The Three Londons: Penn Staters in the Olympics,” a Penn State University Archives exhibit, is on display from July 1 to Aug. 30, in the All-Sports Museum, Penn State University Park.

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games, scheduled for July 27 to Aug. 12, will be in London, England, the only city to be chosen three times to host the games. London hosted the games in 1908 and 1948, and Penn State athletes and coaches will have participated all three times.

Penn Staters Nate Cartmell and Lee Talbott competed at the 1908 Olympics. Nate Cartmell, who also won two silver medals at the 1904 Olympics, won a gold medal in the 1600-meter relay and bronze medal in the 200-meter sprint in 1908. Lee Talbott was one of a few athletes ever to participate in three sports at one Olympics, track and field, wrestling, and the tug-of-war.

Nine Penn Staters participated in the 1948 Olympics, the first one held after World War II. The most decorated Penn Stater was Barney Ewell, who won a gold medal with the 400-meter relay team and two silver medals in the 100- and 200-meter sprints. Curt Stone and Herman Goffberg participated in long-distance track events. Gene Wettstone, coach of the Penn State men’s gymnastics team, was the U.S. men’s gymnastics coach and had three of his own members on the Olympic squad, including Bill Bonsall, Lou Bordo and Ray Sorensen. Walter Bahr, men’s soccer, and Bill Koll, wrestling, competed in the Olympics before they began their Penn State coaching careers.

Several Penn Staters have already qualified to compete at the 2012 Olympic games. Miles Chamley-Watson will compete on the U.S. men’s foil team, Doris Willette, a 2008 Olympian, will compete on the U.S. women’s foil team as a replacement, and Daniel Gomez-Tanamachi will compete on the men’s foil team for Mexico. Felix Aronovich, men’s gymnastics, will compete for Israel. Erica Walsh, Penn State women’s soccer head coach, will be an assistant coach for the U.S. team, and former women’s players, Erin McLeod and Carmelina Moscato will compete for the women’s Canadian team. Several past and present Penn Staters were hopefuls at various Olympic trials just held in June. Former Penn State men's gymnast Tommy Ramos succeeded and will represent Puerto Rico at the games this summer. Ramos competed for the Nittany Lions from 2005–08.

The exhibit features photographs from the Penn State University Archives and Olympic artifacts, booklets, and posters from the collection of Hal Wilson, Class of 1951.

The museum, which is located at the southwest corner of Beaver Stadium, on Curtin Road, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. For additional information, contact Paul Dzyak at 814-865-2123 or Paul Karwacki at 814-863-9870.

  • four runners, two wearing Ohio jerseys and two wearing Penn State jerseys, with Penn State runner leading the race

    The most decorated Penn Stater was Barney Ewell (far right), who won a gold medal with the 400-meter relay team and two silver medals in the 100- and 200-meter sprints in the 1948 Olympics.

    IMAGE: Penn State University Archives
Last Updated July 10, 2012