CLEVELAND, Ohio – “You should write a story about Paul Drayton.”
So began an email from a reader.
I stared at the name … Paul Drayton.
The reader explained Drayton was from Cleveland. He was runner, a 1964 Olympic gold medal winner. His friends from old Cathedral Latin High knew him as “Otie.”
Otis Paul Drayton.
I knew of the great Olympic runners from Cleveland – Jesse Owens and Harrison Dillard. Akron’s Butch Reynolds had a great career in track. But Paul Drayton …
I was clueless. But once I found out about Drayton, I’ve joined with a small group of his friends who would like to see him honored in some fashion. Drayton died in 2010 of cancer.
Cleveland Councilman Joe Jones (Ward 1) is on board. A former runner at Cleveland’s Aviation High in the 1990s, Jones also had never heard of Drayton until recently.
“Now, I believe he needs to be recognized in some way,” said Jones. “We sometimes miss chances to tell inspiring stories of people in our community. People need to know about him.”
Jones said there is a movement to name a street after Drayton, who grew up in Cleveland’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Jones is also looking into perhaps naming a local track or something else after Drayton.
More important, his story should be told.
In the 1964 Olympics, Paul Drayton won a silver medal in the 200 meters, a gold in the 4X100.…