Essential Pittsburgh
4:02 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Drury Brought Pittsburgh First Winter Olympic Medal in 1924

Olympic ice hockey in 1924.
Olympic ice hockey in 1924.
Credit Heinz History Center

During the first Winter Olympics in 1924, defenseman and Pittsburgh Yellow Jackets player Herb Drury brought home a silver medal for the U.S. Olympic Hockey team. In the games, Drury scored 22 goals and 3 assists for Team USA.

His career and many Olympic artifacts are memorialized in the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Senator John Heinz History Center.

Anne Madarasz, director of the sports museum, says the exhibit features some of Drury’s medals as well as historical photographs highlighting Pittsburgh, specifically Duquesne Gardens, as a main stop for players who wanted to be recruited for professional teams. 

Many Olympic enthusiasts may not know the genesis for ice hockey and, more generally, the Winter Olympics. Madarasz explains that Pittsburgh’s Herb Drury played in the exhibition matches.

“They actually had ice hockey at the Summer Olympics in Belgium in 1920. Seven teams, sixty players from around the world came and competed in a kind of demonstration of winter sports at those summer games.”