Putting a Purple Shine on the Olympic Rings

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As the 2012 Games begin in London, take a moment to join University Archives in looking back at NU’s remarkable Olympic history, a period spanning exactly 100 years.

On June 8, 1912, Northwestern hosted the U.S. Olympic track and field tryouts at Northwestern Field, the site of the current Ryan Field. The same year saw the first Northwestern student to compete in the games. Kenneth A. Huszagh (Law ’15) joined the American swimming team and took an Olympic bronze for his effort in the 100 meter freestyle competition at Stockholm. In the following Olympiads, Northwestern student-athletes and NU alumni went on to win more than a dozen gold, silver, and bronze medals. NU’s tradition of success carries on today: Matt Grevers (Comm ’07), who took home two gold medals and a silver in 2008, will be competing this year in London. Matt, we wish you well and will be cheering for you.


If you are eager to know more about NU Olympians or the 1912 Olympic tryouts held at Northwestern, run, jump, or swim to the University Archives. Others can email or pick up the phone.