With the 2014 Winter Olympics underway in Sochi, Russia, we turn back the clock 34 years to Princeton’s own Olympic moment: On Feb. 3, 1980, 10 days before the opening ceremonies in Lake Placid, N.Y., the Olympic torch relay came to town, making a stop at the Princeton Indoor Relays in Jadwin Gym. Alison Carlson ’77, pictured, carried the torch for a ceremonial lap around the Robert Garrett Memorial Track, named for Robert Garrett, Class of 1897, a track and field star at the first modern Olympics, held in Athens in 1896.
Carlson was one of 52 women and men selected to guide the torch from Virginia to upstate New York. On hand to watch her were hundreds of sports fans and a handful of dignitaries, including Harrison Garrett ’33 (Robert’s son), New Jersey athletics commissioner and former boxing champ Joe Walcott, and John Woodruff, a gold medalist in track at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
Princeton has a long and distinguished history at the Olympics, but Tigers have had most of their success in the summer games. More than 90 alumni have competed in summer events, compared with seven in the winter. Andrea Kilbourne-Hill ’02 is Princeton’s most recent winter medalist. She won silver with the U.S. women’s ice hockey team at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.