BY TODD PIRO
A celebration was held in Bridgeport Friday for an Olympic athlete who took silver in London — 64 years ago.
Col. George Bissland Moore competed for the United States in the pentathlon in 1948, the last time the Olympics were held in London.
Moore, 93, is a decorated World War II veteran, earning a Purple Heart, two Bronze Stars and the Legion of Merit.
The U.S. Olympic Committee turned to the military right after the war to recruit strong, physically fit athletes.
“It was so soon after the war, we didn’t have time to get ready,” Moore said.
In 1948, the five events in the pentathlon were running, swimming, shooting, show horse jumping and fencing. With very little time to train after the war, Moore had to be resourceful — borrowing a horse from a local vet to train for show jumping.
With tears in his eyes, Moore listened to the Star Spangled Banner at the celebration held for him Friday at the Watermark Retirement Community in Bridgeport, his family by his side.
“I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be on that podium. It has to be huge and (he) never makes it through without tears,” said Moore’s daughter Kimberley Moore Pressler about the National Anthem.
Moore said he plans on cheering on his fellow U.S. Olympians, who will be competing on the same soil he did 64 years ago.
“Most certainly look forward to it,” he said.