Greatest Athlete in Connecticut History Tournament: Lindy Remigino vs. James Blake

Remigino (center) displays the medal he received after winning the 100 meter final at the Summer Olympics at Helsinki on July 22. 1952. (AP Photo)

It’s summertime, and that means it’s time for another SportzEdge ® Bracket-style, 64-team tournament! Feel the excitement!!!

Last year, we changed the course of modern human civilization with the Coolest NCAA Logo Tournament, which became a national phenomenon along the lines of a presidential election, Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY speech, or DeAndre Jordan changing his mind about where he wants to play basketball.

This year, we decided to take on a question scholars have been debating since the 1800’s, maybe.

Who is the greatest athlete in Connecticut history?

There are plenty of outstanding candidates, from Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, to four-time Boston Marathon champion Bill Rogers, to all-time great featherweight boxer Willie Pep.

The athletes we considered must have grown up in Connecticut, and we counted only their prowess on the playing field, so coaches, executives and contributors like Walter Camp were not considered.

5. Lindy Remigino

Track and Field

Hartford

Named after Charles Lindburgh, Lindy remains the only Connecticut native to win multiple Olympic gold medals. Remigino was the best in the world in the 100 meters in the 1952 Games in Helsinki, Finland, though not by much. Jamaica’s Herb McKenley crossed the finish line almost at the exact same time as Remigino, and the first four runners were given the same official time of 10.4 seconds, with the fifth and sixth runners coming in at 10.5.

Lindy was granted the gold, and the title of “World’s Fastest Man.”

He also captured gold in the 4 X 100 meter relay.

After his running career, Remigino became a high school track coach at Hartford Public. His Owls teams won a remarkable 31 state titles in his 43-year career.

 

James Blake
James Blake

12. James Blake

Tennis

Fairfield

Blake was born in Yonkers, and grew to love tennis after childhood hero Arthur Ashe spoke to a camp in Harlem when he was young. After his father got a job in Hartford, the family moved to Fairfield, where Blake went to high school.

In fact, he was a classmate and friend of musician John Mayer at Fairfield High School. Blake enrolled at Harvard in college, but left after his sophomore year to pursue professional tennis.

It turned out to be a pretty good decision, as Blake became one of the top Americans in the game, and ascended to the No. 4 ranking in the world in 2006.

He won 10 tournaments in his career, and finished with a 366-256 record.

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