Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sports Center Saturday ~ Olympic Athlete in the Family

The last time the Summer Olympics were held in London was 64 years ago, in 1948, after a twelve year hiatus due to World War II. My father's cousin and uncle participated in the Sailing competition in Torbay, on the south coast of England. Wikipedia has a detailed description of Sailing at the 1948 Summer Olympics, where it notes that Hilary Smart (1925 - 2000) and his father Paul Smart (1892 - 1979) won the Gold Medal in the "Star" Event.

The following screenshots are from the detailed page about this race at Wikipedia (accessed July 13, 2012)

I love that the name of their sailboat was "Hilarious." Having known my dad's cousin Hilary, that's his sense of humor shining through.

So of course, I have to head over to one of my favorite newspaper websites, GenealogyBank, where there are several articles to be found covering the London Olympics.

Seattle Times, Thursday, August 12, 1948, from

Dallas Morning News, Friday, August 13, 1948, from
The International Star Class Yacht Racing Association has a profile on Great Uncle Paul Smart, who died in 1979.

Here is Cousin Hilary at our wedding in 1991. He died in January 2000.

Cousin Hilary's mother was Sara McAlpin Pyle (1891 - 1978), who was older sister to my grandfather, Charles McAlpin Pyle (1893 - 1966).


  1. Wonderful story! Newspapers are a great way to learn more about athletes in the family tree, espcially Olympic athletes! Have you seen the gold medal?

    1. If I saw the gold medal as a child, I don't remember. I'm sure one of his children has it now and I'm sure they treasure it.