George Robertson won the hammer throw for Oxford vs. Cambridge three times (1893-95), but unfortunately the event was not included on the program of the 1896 Olympics. Instead, Robertson entered the discus and finished fourth, his performance being described as “neither elegant nor successful.” His mark of 82-8 (25.19) is considered the inaugural UK record for the discus. Some sources suggest that Robertson also competed in the shot in Athinai, but the balance of the evidence suggests that this is unlikely, and The Field reported that “Robertson stood out of the weight putting, in which he might be presumed to have made a respectable appearance. Probably his time was too much occupied by the composition of his Greek ode.” As Robertson was the correspondent in Athinai for The Field he sent in this report himself. He did, however, play in the lawn tennis tournament, but his most notable achievement at the Games was to compose and recite a Pindaric ode in classical Greek before the King of Greece, for which he was rewarded with a laurel branch. Although a keen Olympian, Robertson was not convinced, at least in his early years, of the value of the Olympic Movement as a peaceful influence. Writing in 1901 of the 1896 Games he expressed the view that “Politically, the Games undoubtedly did much to produce the subsequent war with Turkey.” A distinguished lawyer, he was knighted in 1928 and when he died, aged 94, he was the last surviving competitor from the first Modern Olympic Games.
Personal Bests: DT – 25.19 (82-8) (1896); HT – 36.93 (121-2) (1897).