UT Scores One of the World’s Richest Olympic Archives

 

Longhorns are no strangers to making history at the Olympic Games. Since 1936, 139 Longhorns Olympians have won  117 Olympic medals (57 gold, 30 silver, and 16 bronze). And the newest crop of student-athletes shows no sign of bucking the trend, with NCAA leaders like Marquise Goodwin lighting up the track and Ryan Crouser demolishing the field. But in recent years, the University has become a hot spot for preserving that history as well.

Now the Texas Program in Sports and Media is coordinating the ongoing project between The University of Texas Libraries and McGill University to catalogue and digitize the Richard W. Pound Olympic Collection, a large and varied archive of material related to the International Olympic Movement.

Pound swam for the Canadian Olympic team in the 1960 summer games in Rome and has served on the International Olympic Committee since 1978. His collection contains more than and 100 linear meters of archival material, including more than 400,000 pages of documents, 850 pin sets, medals, statuettes, coin sets, and 12 Olympic torches.

When the process ends next year, the public will gain access to a treasure chest of documents that, in the hands of the IOC, would not be released for 50 years. Longhorns will be able to see real correspondence from the assassinations in 1972 of Israeli olympians, Pound’s investigation of the Salt Lake City bidding scandal, and his busts as chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

In an interview with KUT, a Texas Program in Sports and Media advisory board member and friend of Pound’s, Steven Ungerleider, BA ’70, Life Member, said that the discoveries made in this archive may shake up the Olympic world once released. He added, “This could be the richest archive around the culture of sport and Olympic culture and Olympic politics anywhere in the world.”

Photo courtesy of spcbrass.

 

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