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Lindy Remigino, Once Fastest Man Alive, Dead at 87: Report

Olympian and Newington resident Lindy Remigino, who won two gold medals at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, has died at age 87, according to a report in The New York Times.

The cause was cancer, his son told the newspaper.

Remigino once proudly admitted that he was probably the smallest Olympic 100-meter champion of all-time.

He referred to himself as the “skinny, guinea with the meatball eyes who you couldn’t put in jail because he’d go right through the bars.” At only 5’6” and 138 pounds, Remigino won two gold medals, in the 100-meters and 4×100 relay, at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland.

Ian Gavan/Getty Images

In a 2012 interview, Remigino could still recall in vivid detail his photo finish in the 100-meter final. Remigino actually thought he had finished second. He admitted to leaning too early near the finish line and actually slowing down. But after a review of the photo, Remigino was declared the winner.

He said that the playing of the National Anthem brought tears to his eyes. He was honored with a parade in Hartford and given the key to the city.

After his Olympic stardom, Remigino worked as a teacher and coach. His Hartford Public track and field teams won 31 state titles in his 43 years

Remigino and his wife raised five children, and in their retired years split their time between Newington and Florida.