In the summer of 1908 London held its first Olympic games. And it was during those games that the copper city sent its first Olympic athlete, john Halstead for the big competition. Halstead was an Olympic track star. Executive Director of the Rome Sports Hall of Fame Ruth Demers says, "And he did very, very well. He set a world speed record in the 1500 meter, but when he got into the Olympics themselves he had an upset stomach and he was beat out at the finals." Forty years later Don Geary was part of the 1948 Olympic hockey team. They won eight games but were disqualified. He would eventually move back to Rome and coach. Jim Attkinson was the third roman to compete. He was the third member of the bobsled and the person from Rome to win a metal. The last was a four time national champion track star, Anthony Washington. Washington competed in three different games coming up just short of a bronze metal.
For a city its size, Rome has seen four different Olympians compete in six different games and the Rome Sports Hall of Fame's most prized possession maybe this Olympic torch from the 96 games. Demers says, "The torch is what is carried all across the United States and of course keeping the Olympic flame and the ideals alive is so important as far as promoting all of the good merits that come from the Olympics that I think for us to have an actual torch that carried the flame that carried it across the United States is just outstanding."
At one point all four of the athletes represented their country but even more importantly they represented Rome on an international stage. "I just feel that this is the epitome of excellence to represent your country in the Olympics and so for Rome to have had four fulfill this goal I think is just outstanding."