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Dolphus Stroud: An incredible Colorado Springs athlete who overcame unimaginable odds

Dolphus Stroud
Posted at 5:52 AM, Aug 02, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — The story of Dolphus Stroud is certainly worth knowing. Stroud is a Colorado Springs Olympian, who had to overcome so many hardships, just to compete in his sport.

According to Colorado College, Kelly Dolphus Stroud, was one of 11 children. Stroud was born in Colorado Springs and ran track at Colorado Springs High school during the 1920s, which is now William J. Palmer High School. His school would not let him run track because he was African-American. Despite facing discrimination, he won the Pikes Peak marathon several times.

Stroud became a Sachs Foundation Scholar, and attended Colorado College in 1926. While getting his education, he qualified for a U.S. Olympic tryout spot, in the 5,000-meter race. Stroud was told he could not travel to Boston with the other White athletes, so he decided to hitchhike thousands of miles from Denver to Boston in the middle of July.

He went through a number of obstacles throughout his career, both in academics and athletics," said Ben Ralston, President of the Sachs Foundation. "Even in his career he found some hurdles that were difficult to get over, but one of the things you learn immediately is that he found ways. He persisted."

Stroud eventually made it to Boston, six hours before he was scheduled compete. Because he was so exhausted, he wasn't able to finish, and fainted during the sixth lap.

Dolphus Stroud returned home and graduated from Colorado College under Phi Beta Kappa, and received a degree in political science. Stroud's legacy lives on in Southern Colorado. He not only overcame so much, but also achieved so much. He would later become a teacher, a poet, the manager of a baseball team, and an entrepreneur.