April 26, 2011
Interesting story in today’s Inquirer about Philly track star John Taylor. I don’t think I had ever heard of him:
The first relay race in Olympic history – a sprint medley consisting of two 200-meter legs, a 400 and an 800 – was held later on July 25, and the U.S. team won easily. Taylor ran the 400 in 49.8 seconds. One of those 200 legs was run by his fellow Penn Quaker, Nate Cartmell, and the 800 by Mal Sheppard, a former Brown Prep teammate.
(Though he was the first to earn gold, Taylor was not the first African American to medal at an Olympics. In 1904, two track and field competitors, Joe Stadler and George Poage, essentially competing for their club teams, had combined to win three medals – a silver and two bronzes.)
After the Games, Taylor stayed in Europe to compete, returning to Philadelphia that fall. At some point, he contracted typhus, fell ill and died at his parents’ home on Dec. 2.
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