New York City plays a bigger role in the 2012 Olympics than many people might think: Among their competitions at the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory, the adidas Grand Prix at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island, and New York Road Runners races, hundreds of athletes competing at the London Games have pounded the city’s two world-class tracks or its legendary streets and parks. Here’s a quick roundup of Olympic news that hits close to home.
More than 150 athletes—from 40 countries—who are competing in the 2012 Olympics have performed at some time during their careers at the Armory, according to an extensive list compiled by Jack Pfeifer and Nick Nicholas. From the 105th Millrose Games alone this winter, seven winners will represent the United States in London: Jenny Simpson (1500 meters), Matthew Centrowitz (1500 meters), Bernard Lagat (5000 meters), LaShawn Merritt (400 meters, 4x400-meter relay), Sanya Richards-Ross (200 meters, 400 meters, 4x400-meter relay), Morgan Uceny (1500 meters), and Jesse Williams (high jump).
Julie Culley, who trains with the New Jersey–New York Track Club and grew up in Annandale, NJ, made her first Olympic team when she won the Trials 5000 meters. As much as she loves her hometown, she headed over to London early so that she could maintain her focus on training instead of basking in the limelight as a local hero. Watch a video interview here.
Don Gehrmann ran in the 1500 meters the last time the Olympics were in London, in 1948. Gehrmann, a lifelong Wisconsinite, also won the Wanamaker Mile at the Millrose Games four times in the middle of the last century, including a victory in a controversial finish against Fred Wilt in 1950 that took 11 months to decide. Catch up with Gehrmann, now 84, here.
Four track athletes at the London Games—including Erison Hurtault, who competes for Dominica but was raised in New Jersey, ran for Columbia University, and lives in Harlem—train with the Central Park Track Club. Read about their varied journeys.
For the first time, more women than men will compete for the New York Athletic Club at the Olympic Games, including Kayla Patterson, a member of the U.S. judo team and a young woman you will justifiably be hearing a lot about in the next few weeks. The New York Times “City Room” looks at the NYAC, its gender progress, and some of its star athletes.
Paula Radcliffe, three-time winner of the ING New York City Marathon, is still struggling with a foot injury but hopes to be on the starting line of the women’s Olympic Marathon in her home country on August 5.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg