Gwinn’s Greg Londo in the U.P. Sports Hall of Fame, joining 9 others inducted last weekend
On the Net: For more on the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame, including how to nominate someone, visit its website at upshf.com
HARRIS — Perhaps Therese Altobelli of Iron Mountain best summed up the motivation of a focused athlete on May 13 at the Island Resort and Casino.
Altobelli, who was part of the 10-member 2017 class inducted into the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame, told the audience why she pursued being the first female to successfully ski jump at Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain.
“I had a dream and a goal and no one was going to stop me,” Altobelli said. “I was going to ride Pine Mountain and I didn’t care what it took.”
The other nine inducted with Altobelli also had dreams and goals come to fruition and were honored for their accomplishments at the 46th annual UPSHF induction banquet.
They are Greg Londo of Gwinn, Carl “Scuppy” Backstrom of Calumet, Mary (Seaton) Brush of Hancock, Jim Crawford of Calumet, Chris Givens of Hancock, Lisa (Roell) Harry of Kingsford, Al Inkala of Wakefield, Brad Shouldice of Sault Ste. Marie and Lou Thesz of Banat.
Londo was a track star at Gwinn and Wakefield, winning five U.P. track titles and earning All-U.P. honors as a defensive back in football.
He also starred in track at the West Point Military Academy, where he was an eight-time Patriot League champion and part of the Penn Relays’ 400-meter relay record-setting team.
Londo expressed how athletics taught him lessons about work ethic, physical and emotional strength and how to learn from failure.
For example, in 1998 Londo was selected to run the lead leg of the 4-by-400 relay team in his first NCAA meet. And he was excited.
“I came out of the blocks very strong, after two laps I was ahead of the University of North Carolina and Duke. And as I was coming in, I raised my hand to Reggie Anderson, our second leg, I realized that I had forgotten the baton.
“They say that success comes as a result of some of our greater failures and I think that’s true,” Londo added after a good laugh from the audience. “Two years later, that same group of four guys ended up breaking the school record, which is a pretty fantastic experience.”