(Last Updated on : 17/03/2012)
Norman Gilbert Pritchard, also known as Norman Trevor, was the first athlete from India to take part in the Olympic Games. The well known Indian athlete also featured in several films in Hollywood and Broadway shows. Norman Pritchard was originally a British and permanently went to England in the year 1905. He was born on 23rd June 1875 in Kolkata
to the parents George Petersen Pritchard and Helen Maynard Pritchard. He has studied at the St Xaviers College, Kolkata. He made the first hat-trick in an open football tournament in the country in a match for Saint Xavier's against Sovabazar in July 1897. During his early life, Norman Gilbert Pritchard was employed as an accountant and resided in Alipore.
Sports Career of Norman Pritchard
Norman Gilbert Pritchard has been regarded as the first Indian athlete to become a participant in the Olympic Games. He was the first athlete from India to win an Olympic medal. He was honoured with 2 silver medals in the 1900 Summer Olympics held in Paris. Behind John Tewksbury of the United States, he came second in the 200 meters and second in the 200 meters hurdles. In the second heat of the 200 metre hurdles, Pritchard set a world record which was ameliorated by Kraenzlein in the final. He arrived at the final of the 110m hurdles but failed to finish. Norman Pritchard has also participated in 60m and 100m sprint where he also failed to qualify for the final.
In the historical records section of the IAAF published official track and field statistics for the 2004 Summer Olympics, Pritchard was listed as having contended for Great Britain in 1900. The official track and field statistics was published in the year 2005. Olympic historians after extensive research have shown that he was chosen to represent Great Britain after competing in the British AAA championship, which was held in June 1900. For 7 consecutive years from 1894 to 1900, Norman Gilbert Pritchard has won the Bengal province 100 yards sprint title and set a meet record in 1898-99. He also won the 440 yards run and the 120 yards hurdles as well.
From 1900 to 1902, Norman Gilbert Pritchard has served as Secretary of the Indian Football Association
. In the year 1905, he moved permanently to England. There in the year 1907 he was invited by Sir Charles Wyndham, a theatre personality to perform a role in his play, The Stronger Sex. Later he moved to the United States and became a silent movie actor and adopted the screen name Norman Trevor. He made his debut in the United States in a play titled The Elder Son, in the year 1914. He also acted along with various legends of Hollywood like Ronald Colman in several movies such as Beau Geste (1926) and Tonight at Twelve (1929). Pritchard acted in a total of 26 plays and 27 movies in his later life.
Norman Gilbert Pritchard died in Los Angeles of a sickness called brain malady on 31st October in the year 1929.