Ray Ewry won eight Olympic gold medals in 1900, 1904 and 1908, yet he is almost unknown today because his unprecedented feats were performed in events that are no longer held: the standing high jump, the standing long jump and the standing triple jump.
From wheelchair to jumping
Born 14 October 1873, Ewry contracted polio as a young boy. Confined to a wheelchair, it was thought that he might be paralysed for life. However, he began exercising on his own and grew up to be a superb athlete. Ewry won all three standing jump events at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris. He defended all three titles in 1904. The standing triple jump was dropped from the Olympic program in 1908, but Ewry won both the standing high jump and the standing long jump for a third time. All standing jumps were dropped from the Olympic programme after 1912.