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Olympics’ first black medalist, a La Crosse High grad., honored with sculputre



Some of George Poage’s relatives in attendance at ceremony

The first African-American to medal at the Olympics has been honored by La Crosse, with the dedication of George C. Poage Park.

Rain let up in time for the late morning ceremony, which brought a large crowd to the park at 5th and Hood.

The Rev. Lawrence Jenkins, whose grandmother was Poage’s sister, says dedication of the park shows “determination” and “team spirit” by the community, in the Olympic tradition. Two other relatives of the athlete were in attendance, including Lawrence wife Robin and their nephew Howard.

Other speakers included Mayor Tim Kabat, La Crosse park director Steve Carlyon, Viterbo historian David Waters and, by way of recording, Mister Rogers singing about a “beautiful day in the neighborhood.”

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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