George Orton, track star, and soccer player,who won two medals at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris is to be inducted into the London Sports Hall of Fame on November 3. One of the greatest long distance runners of his day, Orton won Olympic Gold in the 2,500 metre steeplechase and Bronze in the 400 metre hurdles. However, although a Canadian by birth, Orton won his medals running for the United States.
Canada did not send a team to the 1900 Olympics.
Born George Washington Orton in Strathroy, Ontario on January 10, 1873, he was the eldest son of Oliver Henry Orton and Mary Anne Irvine. He grew up in Dundas, Ontario and attended the University of Toronto, before enrolling at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 1893.
However, what is almost completely overlooked in all that has been written about him is that George Orton was an outstanding soccer player while attending the University of Toronto and continued to play during his years in Philadelphia. He played for the Varsity team in the Toronto Soccer League during his years at the University and was a member of the Toronto all-star team that played an all-star team from the New England states on June 14, 1891. While in Philadelphia in 1910 he played centre half for the Philadelphia all-stars against the New York all-star s in Haverford, Pa. He continued to play and in 1923, at the age of 50 was playing for Merchantville in the Philadelphia League.
He was a member of two cricket clubs in Philadelphia and in additon to a number of track clubs was secretary of the Rose Tree Fox Hunting club of Media, Pa.
He died, June 26, 1958 in Centre Harbor, New Hampshire.
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