Ceremony to honor three Olympians missing from display

Amy Lin, Editor-in-Chief

The Olympian display case in the Peery Family Center now features biographies and photos of three previously omitted Paly Olympians. The trio will be honored in a lunchtime ceremony tomorrow. According to Susan Jones Roy, the instigator of the event, family and classmates of the Olympians will be present.

Three Palo Alto High School alumni and Olympic athletes, not originally inducted when the Peery Family Center opened in October 2017, will be honored at 11:40 a.m. tomorrow at the Peery Family Center.

In August 2018, Michael Blatt contacted the Paly Alumni Association and other alumni, noting that his father, John ‘Boots’ Blatt (Class of 1942), and his uncle, Bob Blatt (Class of 1940), had not been included in the Olympian page of the Paly Alumni website. According to alumni and Olympic swimmer Susan Jones Roy (Class of 1966), Michael Blatt and the daughter of Bob Blatt, Sue Blatt Cowdery (Class of 1971), worked with alumni Lane Wallace (Class of 1966) and Roy to create displays for their fathers, both alpine skiers. Bob Blatt made the Olympic team in 1940, but the games were cancelled because of World War II. In 1948, both siblings made the team but John Blatt did not compete due to an injury.

According to Roy, the organizers of Paly’s 2017 Olympian induction ceremony were unable to find an extensive list of Paly Olympians, and researched to compile their own list for the ceremony, causing the organizers to miss a few Olympians. However, after Michael Blatt spoke up, Roy contacted Teresa Hedgpeth, the archivist and historical steward of the U.S. Olympic Committee, who then provided Roy with a complete list. With this new list, they found that they had missed a third Olympian: Jack Patrick, a rugby gold medalist in 1920 and 1924.

The ceremony will last about 10 minutes, according to Wallace. Several alumni, including Roy and Cowdery, will be present to honor these three Olympians. Interested students, staff, and alumni are invited to attend.