July 16, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue graduate and Lafayette, Ind. native Ray Ewry will be recognized later this week with the dedication of a monument honoring his life and accomplishments. The ceremony will be held in the Lafayette Jefferson High School Auditorium on Thursday, July 19 at 1:30 p.m. ET before moving outdoors to Scheumann Stadium where the monument stands.
Ewry was born in Lafayette in 1873 before eventually becoming one of the most decorated Olympic athletes for the United States in the early 1900s. He won eight individual gold medals during the Olympic Games and two golds at the `Intercalated Games,' which took place in 1906, between the third and fourth Olympiad. Ewry's eight gold medals in individual events was a record until 2008 when Michael Phelps surpassed his total with nine.
Ewry proved to be the world's best in the standing jumps. He won gold medals in the standing long jump, standing high jump, and standing triple jump. In the 1900 Olympics in Paris, he set world records in all three events on the same day en route to a gold medal in each. He also won three golds in 1904 and two in 1908. Ewry's incredible jumping ability earned him his nickname of `The Human Frog.' The standings jumps have been discontinued, but Ewry's world record mark of 11 feet, five inches in the standing long jump still stood when the event was halted in the 1930s. He was elected to the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983.
Ewry came to Purdue in 1890 as a 6'5" football player and captain of the track and field team. He graduated with an undergraduate and master's degree in engineering.
Thursday's event will have several speakers of note including Ewry's grandson Tom Carson. The mayors of West Lafayette and Lafayette will also be on hand to declare July 19 as "Ray Ewry Day." Thursday's event will be free admission and open to the public.