A Hometown Legend! An Olympic Legend! A Sports Legend!
Who is this legend that won the first medal (a gold medal) in the first Olympic Winter Games held in Chamonix, France in 1924? Of course, as many of our readers know, this legend was Charles Jewtraw who was born and raised in Lake Placid. He won his gold medal in the 500 meter speed skating competition beating many of the world's best speed skaters in just 44 seconds.
Did you know that he was featured in Ripley's "Believe It Or Not" along with Lake Placid speed skaters; Carol Parody, Eugene Shea, Jack Shea and James (Bunny) Sheffield? Also, did you know that after the 1924 Olympic Winter Games, Jewtraw moved to New York City and worked for the A.C. Spalding Sports Goods Company? Perhaps that's why his gold medal ended up in the Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution, probably because at the time, there was no Lake Placid Olympic Museum or no North Elba Historical Society.
If you would like to see this legendary medal won by a Lake Placid legend, visit the Lake Placid Olympic Museum at the Olympic Center on Main Street. The medal is there on loan from the Smithsonian Institution along with much more information on Charles Jewtraw himself and lots of Olympic history.