As this year’s Olympic Games commence in London, I couldn’t help but remember learning about an Olympic sprinter from the 1930s named Mack Robinson.
In today’s world of multi-million dollar contracts, appearance fees, and endorsements, it’s easy to forget what many world-class athletes had to endure, even at the peak of their careers, not so very long ago. Where today’s Olympic track & field stars can become mega-celebrities like Bruce Jenner or Carl Lewis, for an African-American track star in the 1930s, there were no riches or lasting fame.
According to Matthew “Mack” Robinson, running came “naturally.” From 1936 through 1938, few people in the entire world could run faster or jump farther. One of the greatest track and field athletes of his time, Robinson’s accomplishments have been somewhat obscured by those of Jesse Owens and Mack’s own younger brother, baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Continue reading