Eddie Eagan: The Unsung Hero Who Won Gold in Both Summer and Winter Olympics

Emma | 08 - 08 - 2021

Winning an Olympic medal is the dream of every passionate athlete. Despite hard work,  sacrifice, and enormous support many athletes couldn’t achieve success in the Olympic Games. In the history of the summer and winter Olympics, only 128 athletes have participated in both the Olympics in which just 5 have won medals. But do you know the American boxer who is notable for winning gold in both the Summer and Winter Olympics? Read on to find out 

Eddie Eagan Olympics

Eddie Eagan born on April 26, 1897, in Denver, Colorado was the first person to win gold in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. Eagan was a son of a railroad worker and he had a very modest upbringing.  He was also an outstanding law student at Yale and Harvard. Eagan earned a prestigious Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University. Meanwhile, he pursued a successful boxing career, represented the Yale team as a captain, and became the first American to win the British amateur championship.

Eddie Eagan later gained selection as a light-heavyweight for the Antwerp Olympic Games in 1920 and won his first Olympic gold medal. He also participated in the 1924 Olympics in Paris under the heavyweight category but failed to bag a medal. After participating twice in Summer Olympics, Eagan made his debut In the 1932 winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York. Eagan got a phone call from his old friend Jay O’Brien who was also a member of the United States Olympic Bobsleigh Committee. Jay said that they need one more member for the U.S four-man bobsleigh team. Without any thought, Eagan accepted the offer and won his second gold medal in the winter Olympics. It is said that he practiced Bobsleigh three weeks prior to the 1932 Winter Olympics.  Eagan was a member of the first group of athletes inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983. After the Olympics, Eddie resumed his career as a lawyer and served in World War II as a lieutenant colonel in the U.S Army, he also served as chairman of the Newyork State Athletic Commission for six years and directed the sports program at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. Eagan set a world record by traveling 20, 559 miles stopping at 18 different stations, and beat the previous record by 20 hours and 15 minutes. He died of a heart attack on June 14, 1967, at the age of 67. Eddie Eagan Summer and Winter Olympic records were matched by Jacobs Thllin Thames (in ski jumping and sailing), Christa Luding (speed skating and track cycling), Clara Hughes (speed skating and road cycling), and Lauryn Williams. 

Where Was Eddie Eagan Born?
  • A. Denver
  • B. New Jersey
  • C. California
  • D. Philadelphia
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