By Carmen Glover
On Saturday, August 17, 2013, stalwarts of track and field came together at Brooklyn’s Garden 54, a unique East Flatbush, Brooklyn, locale, to celebrate an impressive era in the sport of track and field. The inaugural event, organized by the New York City Metro Area Track Reunion, featured stellar names in the sport, including Dr John Carlos, who in 1968 was a third place bronze medalist in the Summer Olympics in Mexico City and participated in the iconic black power protest with fellow athlete Tommie Smith; Dr Seymour “Mac” Goldstein, a chiropractor who is viewed as a pioneer in treating sports related injuries by utilizing cutting edge chiropractic techniques; Fred Thompson, founder of the Atoms Track Club and founder of the Colgate Women’s Games; Vincent Matthews, a graduate of Andrew Jackson High School in Queens, New York, who is better known for winning a gold medal in the 1972 Olympics in Munich when he placed first in the 400 meters dash and Lorna Forde, Barbadian Olympian who ran for the Atoms Track Club and still competes today.
“For the first event it went extremely well. People came from New York and those who had relocated to as far as Los Angeles came,” said Jared McCallister, senior production editor at the New York Daily News, who ran track in the city for Boys High School, now renamed Boys and Girls High School. “The event was organized to reunite track athletes who participated in the New York tri-state area and ran track in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.”
McCallister, who wrote about the event as the date approached, generating much needed publicity, said it was empowering to have the opportunity to relive his experiences as a track athlete and to interact with his peers, coaches and other prominent public and Catholic school track professionals who contributed significantly to the sport. The event coincided with the culmination of the World Games in Moscow, where Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won three separate events. The New York City Metro Track Reunion is relevant as a tangible connection to the feats of track and field athletes in the tri-state area that can serve to inspire current athletes to strive for spectacular achievements in the future.
Among the attendees were members of the Police Athletic League (PAL) Women’s Track Team, the Atoms Track Club and Brooklyn City Councilman Jumaane Williams. The organizers of the event hope to expand the scope of the reunion activities to include initiatives that can further enhance the performance of local aspiring track and field stars.–OnPointPress.net.