Harold Connolly

Harold Connolly

Birth
Somerville, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Death 18 Aug 2010 (aged 79)
Catonsville, Baltimore County, Maryland, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 57500959 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Olympic Games Gold Medalist Athlete. He captured top honors for the United States in the hammer throw at the 1956 Melbourne Games. Raised in Massachusetts, he was active in athletics from early childhood despite having a crippled left arm as the result of birth trauma that was subsequently complicated by a number of wrestling injuries. He took-up hammer throwing while at Boston College, then began a thirty year career as a Santa Monica, California, high school teacher following his 1953 graduation. Connolly was eventually to win nine national championships throwing the 16 pound hammer while breaking the world record seven times. After becoming the first American to surpass 200 feet in 1955, he took Gold in the 1956 Olympiad with an effort of 207 feet 3 inches. While in Australia, he met Czech Gold Medal discus thrower Olga Fikotova, with romance and marriage quickly following; the couple settled in the United States, but eventually divorced in 1974. Connolly went on to compete in every Olympics thru 1968, though he won no more medals, with his final world record being at 233 feet 9 inches in 1965 (at his death, the mark was around 285 feet). He stopped competing after 1972, was elected to the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1984, and from 1988 until 1999 was a track coach at Georgetown University and a Special Olympics administrator. From 1999 to 2010, he lived in Radford, Virginia, where his wife, former Olympic runner Pat Daniels, was a coach; he had moved to Maryland a few months prior to his death from a heart attack during a gym workout. In 1983 Connolly revealed that he had taken anabolic steroids between the years 1964 and 1972, stopping when he retired from competition (and thus explaining his rapid 50 pound weight loss in 1973). Pointing out that the drugs were quite legal during those years, he continued to express the opinion that their use should be a matter of personal choice as long as the athlete is of lawful age.

Bio by: Bob Hufford


Sponsored by Ancestry

Advertisement

See more Connolly memorials in:

Advertisement

Advertisement

  • Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 22 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 57500959
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harold Connolly (1 Aug 1931–18 Aug 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 57500959, ; Maintained by Bob Hufford (contributor 46784943) Unknown.