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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (G)
Goldie, George


1841-1920. Native of Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of William and Sarah (Paterson) Goldie. He immigrated at 13 and settled in NY. In 1860, he began to practice gymnastics and sports. Three years later, he became a professional gymnast and in 1869 was appointed director of the gymnasium at Princeton.

Gymnastics, one of Princeton's oldest athletic activities, began as an informal exercise in the 1830s, and as an organized sport with the completion of Bonner-Marquand Gymnasium in 1870 and the appointment of George Goldie as its director. Goldie was a handsome Scot, with a full beard and great biceps; according to Professor Allan Marquand, one of his aptest pupils, ``his skill in gymnastics, his cheerful temper, and his high character made him justly popular.''

Under Goldie's influence, gymnastics became a prominent intramural activity which every year reached its climax in a Commencement exhibition. In the early 1890s Princeton gymnasts began to give outside exhibitions at Mount Holly, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, and a few years later took part in the first annual Yale-Princeton exhibition, which eventually became competitive. Additional meets were scheduled with other colleges and, with the establishment in 1900 of championship meets by the newly formed Intercollegiate Gymnastics Association, the era of competitive intercollegiate gymnastics began.

Goldie retired in 1911, and Goldie Field was named in his honor.


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