Aug. 29, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Indiana cross-country and track and field teams had a special guest for their annual meeting to start the year. Greg Bell, an IU alum and 1956 gold medalist at the Melbourne, Australia summer games, visited with the team on Friday, Aug. 24.
Bell, a native of Terre Haute, Ind., came to IU after serving in the army. He lettered in track and field from 1956-58 and held IU's long jump record for over 30 years with a jump of 26'7". Bell won two NCAA titles in 1956 and 1957 and won six Big Ten individual titles during his collegiate career. For his accomplishments at Indiana, Bell was the first person ever inducted into the Indiana athletics Hall of Fame in 1982.
In the 1956 summer Olympic games, Bell took home the gold for the United States in the long jump. During Friday's team meeting, Bell spoke to student-athletes about overcoming his life's obstacles to eventually become the best long jumper in the world. Bell has been a dentist for over 50 years, and at 82 years old, he is still seeing patients.
Derek Drouin, currently a senior on IU's track and field team, won a bronze medal in the long jump during this summer's Olympic games in London, England, becoming the first Hoosier to medal in a field event since Bell accomplished that feat. Drouin was in attendance at Friday's meeting and had the opportunity to meet with Bell in person.
Indiana's 2012 cross country season will get underway on Saturday, Sept. 8, with the Indiana Open. The first race will begin at 9:30 a.m. ET at the IU Championships Cross Country Course.