Wednesday, September 28, 2016

More On The Princeton Pioneers

If there is an alumni organization, then there will be Princetonians involved.

That's TigerBlog's profound thought for your Wednesday. He has no way of proving this, of course. It's just a hunch, and he's pretty sure it's a good one.

Until yesterday, TigerBlog didn't realize that there was an alumni organization for U.S. Olympians. Then he found out that there was. Then he found out that two of the five vice presidents for the organization are Princeton alums.

All of this started when Carol Brown, a member of the Class of 1975 and a three-time Olympic rower, emailed TB a picture of Princeton alums who are working to try to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Los Angeles.

Brown said that the group was part of the U.S. Olympian Paralympian Association, and that she was on the executive board. So too is Joe Cheek, Class of 2011 and a two-time Olympic speedskater.

There were four people in the picture. It has Brown, along with Augie Wolf, a 1984 Olympic shot-putter, and Brett Goodwin and Jennie Thompson, who work for NBC. Cheek, and USA Fencing president Donald Anthony, were not in the picture but are part of the efforts.
For Brown, this is the second TigerBlog appearance this month, after she helped put together the women's athlete symposium in Chicago earlier.

Brown, whom TB has never met, appears to be something of a force. If she is putting her efforts into bringing the 2024 Olympics to California, TB wouldn't be shocked to see it happen.

TigerBlog didn't know much about Carol Brown until she reached out to him about the symposium. Since then, he's learned all sorts of interesting things.

Perhaps the most interesting was her path to Olympic rowing. It certainly didn't begin when she was in high school in Illinois, where, in the pre-Title IX days, girls were legally forbidden from playing sports.

Miss TigerBlog takes it for granted that she's gotten to play a bunch of different sports her whole life, and field hockey and lacrosse in high school. She and her friends could never dream of what people like Carol Brown had to go through to compete.

Because there were no athletic opportunities for her in high school, she instead was a musician. It wasn't until she came to Princeton that she found athletic opportunities, primitive as they were for women then.

If you want to read some interesting stuff on what she and her fellow athletic pioneers went through back then, you can click HERE.

TigerBlog has said this before but not in a long time, so he'll throw it out there again. Where would women's athletics be now without Title IX?

He'd like to think that there'd have been a natural evolution that brought increased opportunities to girls and women in sports. He'd like to think that the teams his daughter plays on now would have been there on their own, but it's possible that that's not the case.

Brown and her husband live in the Chicago area. Their son, Stuart Pomeroy, is a junior on the Princeton men's hockey team. His bio on says that his mother also played hockey and swam at Princeton, in addition to her rowing.

That's a lot of athletic achievement for someone who had never competed in anything before she came here. One day, TigerBlog will ask her what it was like when she was a girl.

Did she realize how athletic she was? Did she want to take her Olympic bronze medal and stick it in the face of everyone who told her girls could play sports when she was little?

The men's hockey season, by the way, starts one month from today, at Michigan State.

If you think back one month, to Aug. 28, that was the Sunday when Princeton played Villanova in women's soccer on ESPNU in the second event of the year. Today is Sept. 28, which, among other things, is Gary Walters' birthday.

The last month has certainly zipped by, and the next one will too, as it'll be hockey season in a blink. The women's team actually faces-off a week earlier, with a pair of games in Providence. The Princeton women are ranked seventh nationally in the preseason and are coming off an NCAA tournament appearance a year ago.

In an interesting schedule quirk, the team plays its first three games in Providence, with a game at Brown on the 28th, one month from today.

For now, it's the heart of the fall season.

There are two events today, with the men's soccer team at Villanova at 4 and the men's water polo team at home against St. Francis (Pa.) at 7:30. Hopefully head coach Luis Nicolao will focus on the game and not be reading Bruce Springsteen's book while the game is going on.

Between today and Sunday there are 22 Princeton athletic events. The breakdown by gender? There are 11 for men and 11 for women.

That's how it should be.

That's not how it always was.

There are athletes like Carol Brown - and some of the women's track and field athletes who were at the Peter Farrell dinner Saturday night and an army of others - who made it his way.

1 comment:

Tad La Fountain '72 said...

Don't forget that Carol Brown's name is also inside the baton that will be presented to the women's swimming team this season, along with the other members of her national championship relay team.