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Tommy Hitchcock

Full name: Thomas "Tommy" Hitchcock, Jr.
Gender: Male
Height: 5-10 (178 cm)
Born: February 11, 1900 in Aiken, South Carolina, United States
Died: April 19, 1944 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, Great Britain
Country: USA United States
Sport: Polo

Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)

Biography

Schooled in the sport from a very early age by an enthusiastic mother and a father who captained the USA in the first Westchester Cup match in 1886, Tommy Hitchcock was perhaps the greatest American polo player ever. He was an aggressive rather than a particularly skilful rider, but he was a long and accurate striker of the ball. Hitchcock played for the US in every international match between 1920 and 1940, with only two exceptions. During this period he was on the winning team in every match except the Cup of the Americas in 1936. Following a bad injury in 1933, it was thought his career might be over but he made a remarkable comeback and played on the Greentree side that beat Aurora 6-5 to win the US Open in 1935.

As a 17-year-old at St. Paul’s school he tried to enlist in the Aviation Section of the Army Signal Corps for service in World War I. Having been rejected on the grounds of his youth, he enlisted with the French forces and went overseas, later transferring to the U.S. Air Service. Hitchcock was shot down over enemy lines while flying a mission for the famous Lafayette Escadrille and spent a number of months in hospitals and prison camps. While being transferred between camps he jumped from a train as it was crossing a river and, although still wounded and walking only at night, he covered the 100 miles to the Swiss border in just eight days. He was awarded the French Croix de Guerre.

After the war, Hitchcock was educated at Harvard and Oxford. Substantial family interests enabled him to devote much of his time to polo and he maintained a 10-goal handicap for 18 years from 1922-40, with the exception of 1935. At the outbreak of World War II he rejoined the Army Air Corps and served as assistant air attaché to the embassy in London in 1942. His adventurous life came to an end when he was killed in an army Mustang airplane crashed in Salisbury, England shortly after it crashed after leaving the 9th Air Force fighter station.

In civil life, Hitchcock worked for investment bankers Lehman Brothers and being a keen flyer, he flew to work each day, ‘parking’ his boat-plane in New York harbour close to Wall Street. He was married to Margaret Mellon, niece of Andrew Mellon who came from one of America’s wealthiest families.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1924 Summer 24 Paris Polo Men's Polo United States USA 2 Silver

Men's Polo

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result G
1924 Summer 24 Paris Polo United States USA Round-Robin Match #1 1 1924-06-28 USA 13, FRA 1
1924 Summer 24 Paris Polo United States USA Round-Robin Match #2 1 1924-07-01 USA 15, ESP 2 5
1924 Summer 24 Paris Polo United States USA Round-Robin Match #3 1 1924-07-03 USA 10, GBR 2 5
1924 Summer 24 Paris Polo United States USA Round-Robin Match #6 2 1924-07-06 ARG 6, USA 5 3
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