Note: This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:A Hard Act to Follow: The Renowned Success of an Illinois Standout, Harold Osborn and the Decline of Amateurism
Author(s):KIN 494_S06-01
Abstract:This project traces the biographical career of one of the first Illinois track and field athletes Harry Osborn to illustrate the evolvement and eventual decline of amateurism in sports. On the basis of archival research, the study shows that Osborn has been noted for achieving dual conquest in both the decathlon and high jumping. However, he is particularly knows for introducing a non-traditional high jumping technique that pushed height limits and helped break ground for high jumpers to follow. Osborn obtained medals in the 1924 Paris Olympics in both the high jump and decathlon and was overall very successful in competitions. However, the amateur athletic association did not allow athletes to allow any prizes and money, which many athletes, including Osborn, found unreasonable, since it made it more difficult for them to support their training and everyday living. The study describes the changes concerning these restrictions under the professionalization of sports.
Issue Date:2006-05-15
Publication Status:unpublished
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-08-24

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