SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Charles Austin --1996 Olympic gold medalist, United States record-holder, San Marcos resident and Southwest Texas State University Distinguished Alumnus -- will receive a festive community send-off August 31 as he prepares to leave for Sydney, Australia, to compete against the world’s best high-jumpers for another chance at Olympic Gold.
San Marcos residents will host a “Red, White and Blue” send-off party to celebrate Austin’s second trip to the Olympics and his generous service to the community.
The City of San Marcos, the San Marcos Independent School District, Southwest Texas State University and other community and civic groups will be on hand from 4-6 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 31 at the Old Fish Hatchery on C.M. Allen Parkway to wish Austin their best.
Austin is the defending Olympic high jump champion at this year’s summer Olympics after winning the gold medal in Atlanta in 1996 with a jump of seven feet ten inches. He became the first American Olympic gold medalist in the high jump since 1968. Austin is the current American record holder in the high jump with a personal best of seven feet ten and one-half inches.
The party will include dances and exhibitions by local school children starting at 4:30, running of the Olympic torch, and special presentations by the City, SWT, San Marcos CISD, and Austin’s fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma. SWT will give away free football tickets to all attending Austin’s send-off celebration for the Bobcat’s first game of the season against Midwestern State that evening beginning at 7 p.m. in Bobcat Stadium.
Media are invited to attend all events.
For more information on Austin, please call Tony Brubaker, assistant athletic director of media relations, at 512-245-2966. For more information on the events, please contact Lisa Cruz, SWT public information specialist, at (512) 245-2180 or Melissa Millecam, City of San Marcos communications manager, at (512) 393-8105.