Happy 68th birthday today to Randy Matson and congratulations dukehjsteve. Some believe Randy was just about the best shot putter ever and it would be difficult to argue against that. He was a great athlete and played basketball and football very well. Randy was only 19 years old when he took the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Now, who is the "senior" athlete? This is not an easy one, but there is a clue in the title.
You're probably right, rhymans. Here is some additional help. This athlete had a "famous" brother (Bil) who was a puppeteer (did "Sound of Music" and other films). Our gold medalist didn't earn his gold medal without some major help.
He shares the same first name as the Olympic gold medalist in the hurdles from the next Olympic Games. If you take away the first and the last letters of his last name, you will have something that every plant and animal needs for survival.
Our mystery "senior" athlete played the piano very well and attended school in Iowa.
At the time of his death (2004), our birthday athlete was the oldest living American Olympic gold medalist. Who is this person?
So this mystery man was born in 1907 and won gold as a 21 year old in 1928. Thanks to Percy Williams in the 100-200 the only American who won gold in a running event was Ray Barbuti in the 400, but it's not him?
You're almost there. Yes, he was born in 1907 and yes, he did run on the winning relay in 1928. Now, go to the next Olympics (Los Angeles) and figure who won the 110 hurdles. That champion (hurdles, 1932) shares the same first name as our mystery champion.
And bambam got him. Yes, it was George Baird who was born 106 years ago last Tuesday. And yes, George joined the Track and Field News Tours a few times. George ran the first leg of the winning four by 400 relay team in Amsterdam (1928). He clocked 48.2 and that team was anchored by Ray Barbuti in 48.8. The second man was Fred Alderman (49.4) and the third man was Emerson Spencer (47.8). Their time of 3:14.2 was a world record in 1928 (the year after Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic). George Baird died at the age of 97.