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London Olympics 2012

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I am interested in the 2012 Summer Olympics scheduled for London this year.

My interest stems from a few local - South Jersey connections - including some former Olympic sailors I know who lost the America's Cup in Newport and won it back in Australia with Dennis Conner a few years later.

I'm also interested in the target shooting events because of a former neighbor Matt Emmons, who has won medals in 2004-2008 and is said to be going to London.

Then there's the story of Jack Kelly, Philadelphia-Ocean City, NJ contractor who won the Olympic Gold Sculling - rowing medals in the single and doubles but was then excluded from the British Henley regatta because he wasn't considered a gentleman - as he "worked with his hands."

He then raised his son Jack, aka "Kel" to win the Henley, as the rules must have changed a generation later, and while Kel came in second in the Olympics, he did win the Henley and defeated the guy who won the Olympics.

That's the story as it is told in Ocean City and in Philadelphia, where the rowing clubhouses are lined up along what is now Kelly Drive, named after Kel, who died of a heart attack while jogging along the river. His cousin also died mysteriously at the same time. His sister is Grave Kelly Grimaldi, Princess Grace of Monaco, who also died under strange circumstances.

The other summer Olympic connection that I am interested in is Matt Emmons, a Browns Mills, NJ neighbor and 2004 Olympic gold medal sharpshooter. His father ran the Fort Dix rifle range which I can hear from my house, but Matt was not a military guy, one of the few non-military shooters.

After winning one golf medal in shooting, Matt was set to win a second medal when scoring a near perfect round, he accidentally shot the wrong target on his last shot - thus disqualifying him from a medal.

While mopping in distress after the ultimate faux paux, a young women rifleman from the Chech Republic came up to offer her condolences, and they ended up getting married. Four years later, in China, the Chinese were very determined to win the women's medal but Matt's wife won the gold. When it was Matt's turn, he was on his way to win another gold when lightning struck again, he hipcuped on his last shot and missed the gold once again.

So I'm interested in the London Summer Olympics and believe there's other stories out there that could prove interesting.


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