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Pitt and the Olympic Games

The University of Pittsburgh has a rich and successful track and field history. From its men's and women's teams have come no fewer than eight Olympians, more than any other Panther sports program has produced. Pitt's track and field teams have produced a pair of gold medalists - John Woodruff in the 800 meters at the 1936 Games in Berlin, and Roger Kingdom, a two-time gold medalist in the 110 High Hurdles at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and Seoul. Another Pitt product, Herb Douglas, earned a bronze medal in the long jump at the 1948 Games in London.

Pitt's Olympians have come from far and near. Woodruff, who now lives in New Jersey, was from nearby Connellsville, Pennsylvania. Kingdom, who originally came to Pitt as a prized running back football recruit, was brought to Pittsburgh from his hometown of Unadilla, Georgia. Pitt's current Olympian, Najuma Fletcher, was one of three representatives of her native Guyana at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, Spain. One of Pitt's most familiar Olympians, Arnie Sowell, went to high school just blocks from Pitt's Cathedral of Learning at Schenley High School, which has spawned numerous notable athletes in a variety of sports. Sowell finished fourth in the 800 meters at the 1956 Games in Melbourne, Australia.

Fletcher, who is now in her senior season of intercollegiate competition at Pitt, and Kingdom, who did not compete in the 1992 Games but has been undertaking a remarkable career comback during the past year, could both compete in Atlanta next summer at the '96 Games.

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