Official Olympic historian to speak in University Libraries

June 30, 2008

A month before he embarks for the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, official Olympic Historian John Lucas will speak in Penn State's University Libraries from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 9, in Mann Assembly Room, 103 Paterno Library on the University Park campus.

In 1952, Lucas traveled from his native Boston to Los Angeles to take part in the U.S. Olympic Trials for the Games of the XV Olympiad in Helsinki. By finishing 11th, he just missed a place in the 10,000 meters. Ever since then, he has traveled to the games and held a personal run before they begin.

After teaching in Boston, he was a professor of physical education for 37 years at Penn State, retiring as professor emeritus. In 1991, he was appointed Honorary International Olympic Committee (IOC) Lecturer for North America by the then-IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch. He also received the Olympic Order in 1996, at the 105th IOC Session in Atlanta.

An exhibit, "Faster, Higher and Stronger: The Modern Olympic Games," is currently on display in the Frank and Mary J. Smeal Foundation Exhibits Hall, 104 Paterno Library, through Sept. 17.

Attendees to Lucas's presentation are welcome to bring a lunch.

For more information, contact Jackie R. Esposito, university archivist, at or (814) 863-3791.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 19, 2009