An ArmoryTrack.com news release has informed us that two-time Olympic high jump medalist John Thomas of Brockton, Massachusetts passed away Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at the age of 71.
A soft-spoken gentleman, Thomas was revered – especially in his native New England – as one of his sport’s most enduring icons. He was also among a small cadre of personal boyhood heroes of mine, along with former mile record holder Jim Ryun, St. Louis Cardinals baseball star Stan Musial, and St. Louis Hawks basketball All-Star Bob Pettit. With great fortune I got to know “JT” during my quarter-century living in Boston. Meeting your heroes later in life and finding that they embody all the qualities you’d imagined of them as a young fan is one of the pleasures life can offer. Think of that legacy, alone, in today’s world of Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods.
The following is from last March 25th’s High Jump Heroes which speaks to the seeds of a life long passion planted in a young boy’s heart by heroes like John Thomas and his great Russian rival Valery Brumel. Continue reading