An Olympic Discovery

During my time as an intern at Locust Grove Estate in Poughkeepsie, I have been digging through and transcribing the diaries of one the former residents, Innis Young. During 1920 (the most interesting year I’ve covered), he spent a few months on a European tour with a few of his friends, traveling through places such as England, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland. Many times while transcribing, and especially when Innis was over in Europe, I would need to research how to spell certain non-English words, which required me to do some searching as to what the context was.

While traveling, he stopped in Antwerp, Belgium, for a week or so. It was during this period that I Innis describing a particular soccer match he had attended. Seeing as how I love sports, I decided to look into it, and to my surprise, the game was a part of the Olympic Games which were underway in Antwerp at that time. Later on in the week, Innis talks about various “VIP” (so to speak) parties of which he had attended. He had mentioned various people that he had met (which he often did no matter where he was), and none of which caught my attention. But then came along Eddie Eagan. Innis described him as a “nice kid”, and as an alright amateur boxer. This peaked my curiosity, and it was to my amazement to find out that Eddie Eagan was not just an alright amateur boxer, but he would go on to win not only the gold medal in boxing at the 1920 Olympic Games, but also the gold medal at the 1932 Olympic Games in Lake Placid in bobsleigh. He is the ONLY person in history to win the gold in both the Winter and Summer games in separate disciplines. That is quite a piece of sports history that I didn’t plan to uncover, especially during my time as an intern at Locust Grove.

It was little moments like this one that made my time as an intern enjoyable; aside from the daily tasks that Innis would write about, occasionally there would be little nuggets that would come out of nowhere, and I always knew I could count on a few.