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June 12, 2023

New permanent display in the AFC features the gold medal won by rower Tom Charlton ’52


Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee and father of the modern Olympic Games, said of the Games that the important thing is “not to win, but to take part … To spread these principles is to build up a strong and more valiant and, above all, more scrupulous and more generous humanity.”

For nearly a hundred years, alumni of St. Paul’s School have taken part in the Winter and Summer Games with which they will forever be linked. A number of them also have stood atop the podium to receive a bronze, silver or gold medal. When Thomas Charlton ’52, captain of the 1956 gold medal-winning 8-man Yale crew, decided to donate his medal to St. Paul’s School in the wake of last year’s 150th anniversary of crew at the School, he did so because he learned to row here, and with the hope that it would inspire current and future students as they pursue their own dreams and ambitions.

In May, in recognition of Charlton’s act of generosity, St. Paul’s installed a permanent exhibit in the Athletic and Fitness Center that features his medal and honors all the SPS Olympians known to the School. Installed on the left side of the AFC’s Barker Court, the display lists SPS Olympians who have represented their sports and their countries in Games spanning nearly a century — from polo in 1924 to rowing in 2020. Those who earned medals are recognized separately, and Charlton’s gold medal, one of only two won by an SPS athlete (Alfred Lee Loomis Jr. ’31 collected gold for sailing) is showcased with photos and coverage of Charlton’s accomplishment.

If you know of any SPS Olympians who are not included in the roster of athletes, please contact Director of Alumni Relations so the display may be updated.

List of SPS Olympians »