Written by Dave Gil de Rubio Friday, 27 July 2012 00:00
On Friday, July 27, the opening ceremony for the Games of the XXX Olympiad will be held in London, England. With more than 10,000 from 204 Olympic National Committees expected to participate, this will be the largest multi-sport event ever to be held in the United Kingdom. The United States will be sending 530 athletes across the pond and while none are from Garden City, the village has ties to its own piece of Olympic history by way of the late Al Oerter, an alumnus of Sewanhaka High School. From 1956 to 1968, Oerter won medals for the discus, becoming the first track and field athlete to win four consecutive gold medals. Even though he made a failed attempt to make the American team in 1980 at the age of 43, he forever became an ambassador for the Games. So much so that the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation opened the Al Oerter Recreation Center at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in 2009, two years after his death from heart disease.