Joe McCluskey

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Olympic medal record
Men’s athletics
Competitor for the  United States
Bronze medal – third place Los Angeles 1932 3000 m steeplechase

Joe McCluskey (Joseph Paul McCluskey; June 2, 1911 – August 31, 2002) was an American track and field athlete. During his running career, he won 27 national titles in various distance events and captured the steeplechase title a record nine times in a 13-year period.

Biography[edit]

At the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, McCluskey won the bronze medal in the 3,000-meter steeplechase event. However, his medal could have been a silver. A substitute lap counter failed to hold up the number of the laps remaining the first time the runners went past, and the athletes wound up running an extra lap. McCluskey was second at what should have been the end of the regular race but dropped back to third during the extra lap. When offered the opportunity to rerun the race the next day, McCluskey said, "A race has only one finish line"[1] and chose to let the results stand making it the only 3,460-meter steeplechase event ever held in Olympic history.

McCluskey, born in Manchester, Connecticut, was also a 1936 Olympian and coached the New York Athletic Club for fourteen years. He graduated from Manchester High School in 1929. A 1933 graduate of Fordham University, McCluskey was inducted into the Fordham University Hall of Fame as well as the USATF Hall of Fame in 1996. He served as Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy during World War II, then later married having eight children and employed as a stock broker in New York City.

McCluskey was survived by his wife Anne Conger, and his eight children, Joseph Jr., Mary Cotard, Robert, Richard, Katy McElroy, James, Susan Jaeger, and Martin. He also had 11 grandchildren, which eventually became 12 after his last grandchild was born in 2003. His grandchildren are Julian and Antoine Cotard, Daniel and Emily McElroy, Andrew and Richard Jr. McCluskey, Joanna and Laura Jaeger, and Gabrielle, Liam, Lucas, and Aidan McCluskey. Two of his grandchildren, Daniel McElroy and Laura Jaeger, followed in his footsteps and attended Fordham University, where Laura competes, like her grandfather, on the track and field team.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Litsky, Frank (September 1, 2002). "Joe McCluskey, 91, Track Medalist, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-31.