Robert Garrett, discus Olympian
Hughes Studio Photograph Collection
Maryland Historical Society
Baltimore native Robert Garrett joined twelve others to make up the entire first Olympic team representing the United States in the revived Olympic Games in Athens, 1896. Garrett was the son of Baltimore businessman T. Harrison Garrett and nephew of Robert Garrett, an early B&O Railroad Company president. Although he had not seen an official discus until the day before the games began, he went on to become discus champion. Garrett won the gold medal when he defeated Greek discus champion Panagiotis Paraskevopoulus. Garrett outlived all his 1896 teammates.
The games at Athens lasted from April 5 to 15 and consisted of: 100-, 400-, 600-, 800-, and 1500-meter footraces plus a hurdle race of 110 meters; the long and high jump; pole vault; shot put; quoit throw (discus); 26-mile race from Marathon to Athens; fencing; pistol shooting; rowing; yacht races; bicycle races; and lawn tennis. Unlike today, the athletes who participated in the Olympic Games of 1896 were mostly amateur.
Evening Sun, February 1, 1980