LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Lafayette Jeff High School recognized Ray Ewry with a monument inside Scheumann Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
The ceremony honoring Ewry was held in the Lafayette Jeff High School auditorium before it moved outside to Scheumann Stadium where the monument stands just inside the main entrance.
The monument is made of black granite weighing several thousands of pounds and is dedicated to the life and accomplishments of Ray Ewry.
"It's certainly exciting, but I think it's a bittersweet day in Lafayette and the Lafayette community. It's bitter from the standpoint that I think people this week have learned about Ray Ewry and they thought how have we forgotten about this guy for 100 years. But sweet because of the monument that is here and his grandson being here and I think that it is for certain now that Ray Ewry will be known and never forgotten in the Lafayette community and with Mr. Phelps about to break Mr. Ewry's record I think is just appropriate," said Lafayette Jeff Athletic Director Mark Preston.
Raymond Clarence Ewry was a Lafayette native who became famous Olympic athlete in the early 1900's. He was called the "human frog" for his incredible leaping abilities.
After graduating from Lafayette Jeff High School, Ewry attended Purdue University where he played football and was the captain of the track & field team. While at Purdue, Ewry earned an undergraduate and masters degree in engineering.
From 1898 until 1910 Ewry was a 15 time national champion in the standing jumping events. He also won 10 gold medals in 4 consecutive Olympic games (Paris 1900, St. Louis 1904, Athens 1906, and London 1908) in the standing long jump, standing high jump, and standing triple jump.
On hand for the dedication was Ray Ewry's grandson Tom Carson along with other members of the Ewry family.
"I can't even well up. It's just amazing. It just knocked me back a little bit. And I kept trying to peek around the edge of it to see what it said. The inscription, and to see the pictures of him, this is the real deal. And then I realize that this is the real deal for Lafayette. The family's proud, my son's here, and I'm so thrilled that he was able to come, too. I have so many mixed emotions. But I'm just so proud and happy for Lafayette to finally see this recognition of one of their best, favorite sons," said Tom Carson.
Members of the monument committee include State Representatives Sheila Klinker, Jack Walkey, and Cindy Eberts. The monument is being given by Lafayette residents Dick and Judy Leill.
Mayors Roswarski and Dennis will declare July 19 to be Ray Ewry day in Lafayette and West Lafayette. The event is open to the public.
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