|Cy Young and Sim Iness in Helsinki|
Once again an American gold medallist from Helsinki has passed away in the last few weeks. This time Cy Young, Javelin Champ 1952. In Helsinki, Young rallied in the finals with a throw of 242 feet coming back from a 6th place standing in the preliminary rounds.
A brief clip can be seen at this link from Budget Films: Cy Young in Helsinki
Cy C. Young Jr.
July 23, 1928 - December 6, 2017
Cy C. Young, Jr., a fourth-generation farmer and the only American to win an Olympic gold medal for the javelin throw, died on Wednesday at his home in Modesto. He was 89.
The cause was complications from vascular dementia.
Young was born and raised in Modesto, where he continued his family's legacy of raising crops, and later expanded the farm. Never afraid to take a risk, Young was among the first local farmers to grow Silver Queen corn in the years before it was a known commodity. Passionate about farming, he applied his strong work ethic to the fields and became a champion there too.
While in high school, Young decided he wanted to play baseball, but he wasn't allowed to join the team due to having asthma. Not one to be deterred, Young, who was known for his throwing arm, went on to throw the javelin at Modesto Junior College, before going on to UCLA where he was selected an All-American for the javelin throw in Track and Field in 1950. He was also awarded the honor of Athlete of the Year for Southern California by the Helms Athletic Foundation in 1952.
That same year, he made the U.S. Olympic Team and won the Gold Medal for the javelin throw in Helsinki, Finland. Four years later, in the lead-up to the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia, Young was breaking the world record during practice throws. But three days before the competition, he sprained his ankle and was unable to medal.
Young later married the former Elizabeth Anderson, who shared his profound love of farming and together they raised their daughter, Jenifer.
A true outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting and fly-fishing on his ranch. He was dependable in every way and was a man whose handshake was as good as his word. Friends remember him as a gentleman with a genuine heart, an unbelievable ability in getting to the core of issues and an honest and ethical approach to life.