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HAROLD CONNOLLY HAMMER THROW (Inducted 1984)

Born August 1, 1931, Somerville, Mass.

One of the greatest hammer throwers in track and field history, Harold Connolly was the 1956 Olympic champion who broke the world record in the event seven times, helping place the United States in the forefront of an event that historically had not been one of ther nation's best.

A graduate of Boston College, Connolly won 12 national titles, including nine in the hammer outdoors and three indoors with the 35-pound weight throw. Besides 1956, he also was a member of the 1960, 1964 and 1968 Olympic teams but it was in 1956 that Connolly grabbed world attention when he met Olga Fikatova, the Olympic women's discus champion from Czechoslovakia. A romance developed and they were married in October 1957. They divorced in 1975 but a son by that marriage, Jim, later became an outstanding decathlon competitor at UCLA. Connolly is now married to the former Pat Winslow, a three-time Olympian. Connolly took up the hammer to strengthen a left arm that was withered at birth and was three inches shorter than the right. He later became a schoolteacher and now works for Special Olympics.

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