Olympics 2004 Athens (2nd of 4 videos) Tribute to Oldest Greek Olympian
"Athens 2004 Olympic Tribute to Oldest Living Greek Olympian"
Video 1: The Athens 2004 Olympic Torch Relay in Los Angeles, California
Video 2: Olympic Tribute to the Oldest Greek Olympian
Video 3: Pass the Flame, Unite The World (1st Global Torch Relay)
Video 4: The Athens 2004 Olympic Wreath Emblem Remembered
Peter Clentzos, believed to have been the oldest living Greek Olympian, died in 2006 from complications of hip surgery at the age of 97.
In 2004, the Greek Government honored Mr. Clentzos by awarding him the Key to the City of Athens just before the beginning of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
This video, produced by CelebrateGreece.com, is a tribute to the oldest Greek Olympian, Peter Clentzos, who competed for Greece in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games. This 4 minute tribute chronicles the man, his secrets to longevity, his community work, his honors and the accolades from people whose lives were touched by him.
Born June 15, 1909, in Oakland to parents who had emigrated from the Greek island of Kythera, Clentzos attended USC in the early 1930s. He was a three-year letterman on the track and field team coached by Dean Cromwell that won NCAA team titles in 1930 and '31.
His Greek heritage allowed him to compete for that country's 16-member team. Though his personal best was 13 feet 9 inches, Clentzos cleared only 12 feet 3 1/2 inches at the Coliseum in 1932 and wound up seventh after gold-medal winner Bill Miller of Stanford, who set a then-Olympic record of 14-1 3/4 . (Today's world-class vaulters, using fiberglass rather than bamboo poles, routinely clear 19 feet.)
He never slowed down. He golfed regularly, worked out at the Pasadena Athletic Club and competed in the Pasadena Senior Olympics. He also volunteered as an official at athletic events in Los Angeles, including the 1984 Olympic track and field competition at the same Coliseum he had competed in 52 years earlier.
In 2004, he was honored by RUNNING, at age 95, the Los Angeles leg of the worldwide Athens Olympic Torch Relay. He ran past that same Los Angeles Olympic Coliseum which he had competed in 72 years earlier!. The Los Angeles Relay began with Sylvester Stallone at Venice Beach and ended with Tom Cruise at Dodger Stadium.
Some footage courtesy of KEYT-TV/Smith Broadcasting and MEGA (Athens).