The RadSoc Archives events for 2024 continued with Radley Then & Now: Olympians, ahead of the Summer 2024 Olympics in Paris.

On 21st May, a small but distinguished group gathered online to discuss Radley College’s historic connections to the Olympics, ranging from the early days of the modern games to ORs competing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The event was led by College Archivist Clare Sargent, who built on research undertaken in 2012 by Jock Mullard.

We heard how OR Theodore Cook was an enthusiastic early supporter of the movement and served on the IOC from 1905 until 1915. We explored the roster of alumni and Radley parents who have competed in the Olympics – in fencing, rowing, hockey, and even a Silver Medal for Prize Poem at the Antwerp Games of 1920 for Theodore Cook’s politically motivated poem.

We were lucky to be joined on the call by three OR Olympians from the 1960s and 1970s: David Lewis (1949, D) and Bill McCowen (1950, F) both members of the Great Britain bobsleigh team at the Innsbruck 1964 Winter Olympics, and Mark Hayter (1963, G), who was part of the the rowing Quad team at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. They shared their memories and experiences of participating in the Olympic Games, providing a fascinating insight into the reality of competing on the global stage, and about the camaraderie and intense preparation that is required to succeed. It was a pleasure to have them join us, hear their first-hand accounts, and to see David and Bill reconnect during the call.

The event was a resounding success in terms of the quality of stories shared and will, we are sure, be viewed many hundreds of times online in the months to come. We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated and especially to our esteemed Olympians for their valuable contributions.

The purpose of this event, like others in the Radley Then & Now series, is to offer the community an opportunity to reflect on their experiences of Radley as part of an ongoing oral history project, gathering and preserving the history of the College. We encourage everyone to continue sharing their memories with us by emailing

A recording of this event is available below and can also be accessed via the Radley Then & Now playlist on YouTube and as a podcast on Spotify.

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Radley Then & Now will return in November 2024 with an event on the Radley CCF. Keep an eye on the RadSoc Hub for more details. We are also planning future events which will focus on Radley in the 1960s, and Shop.

If you would like to share your memories on any of these topics, or have suggestions for future events, please email us:


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