Bob Garrett was captain of the Princeton track team when Prof. [William Sloane], a future IOC member, suggested he try his hand at the discus throw at the revival of the Olympics. The event was unknown in America, but Sloane consulted the works of Lucian. Garrett, from a wealthy Baltimore banking family hired a local blacksmith to construct an implement in accordance with the description of Lucian. The result of this weighed some 20 lbs. (9 kg.) and Garrett quickly relinquished his interest in discus throwing. At Athens, however, Garrett spotted the competition disc, took several throws with this vastly more manageable instrument, and decided to enter after all. He took the first Olympic discus title by upsetting local favorite Panagiotis Paraskevopoulos. The following day the long jump and shot put were held within half-an-hour of each other and Garrett finished as runner-up in the long jump, but claimed a second Olympic title in the shot put. Bob Garrett won two more medals at the 1900 Olympics and in the intervening years he won the shot and finished second at the 1897 IC4A for Princeton; the following year, representing Johns Hopkins, he finished second in the shot. With his six Olympic medals, Garrett is the most successful of all Princeton Olympians and in recognition of his accomplishments, the Garrett Memorial Track at Princeton is named after him. The discus which Garrett threw at Athens in 1896 is also on display at the Dillon Gymnasium.
Garrett's career was as an investment banker and he became very wealthy. He also served on the boards of several companies. He collected ancient manuscripts from Egypt and the Middle East, and in 1942 he presented his collection to Princeton. He was active in the development of public recreational facilities in Baltimore, was active in the National Recreation Association and became its chairman in 1941.
Personal Bests: HJ – 5-5 (1.65) (1896); LJ – 21-11 (6.68) (1897); SP – 13.14; DT – 33.70 (1897).