This series has given us all as Bulldog fans the privilege to learn more about interesting moments and persons in Mississippi State's past. With the 2012 Olympics in London, England just around the corner, this week's MSU history lesson focuses on the first Mississippi State Olympian - Don Scott in 1920.
After the 1916 Summer Olympic Games were cancelled due to World War I, the 1920 Summer Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium became the first post-war Summer Olympics ever. With just a year to prepare, Antwerp scrambled to put together facilities and stadiums to hold the Olympic events, and soon thereafter athletes from all across the globe began to descend upon the city in Belgium.
That year the United States carried with it 288 athletes to compete in the Games - 274 men and 14 women. One of those 274 men competing for the United States in those Summer Games was Donald Magruder Scott of Jackson, Michigan. Donald Scott, or Don, was a competitor in the Men's 800 metres in the 1920 Games. Scott, a Mississippi State Track and Football star, placed 5th that year in the 800 metres out of 40 competing athletes. He was the second highest American to place that year behind Earl Eby.
Scott would return to Europe in 1924 to again compete in the Summer Olympic games, this time in Paris, France. In '24 Don competed in both "athletics", or running, and the Modern Pentathlon, which includes pistol shooting, fencing, 200 metre free style swimming, show jumping, and a 3km cross country run.
You may also know Don Scott's last name from where it graces the side of our football stadium, Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. Scott played for coach E.C. Hayes during the 1915 and 1916 seasons, and was one of the first football stars at our school.
That's all we have for your history lesson today, folks. Tune in again next week as we continue our study of MSU history in Summer School - MSU History 101.
* all information on Don Scott's Olympic performances via sports-reference.
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