A renowned group of six men with remarkable stories and accomplishments entered the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame on November 10th. One is a world-class sailor – none other than our very own Buddy Melges.

Gary Jobson presented the award at the Midwest Express Center last Friday night. Pictured are Buddy, Cecil Cooper and Dick Bennett. A another local paper, the Janesville Gazette, included these comments, “Zenda’s Harry “Buddy” Melges Jr., a two-time Olympic medal winner in sailing, is one of six sports figures who will be inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.

“Since 1951, nearly 125 individuals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, including Henry Aaron, Bart Starr and Reggie White; leaders such as legendary coaches Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi and Al McGuire; and renowned announcers from Earl Gillespie to Bob Uecker.

“The other inductees include basketball coach Dick Bennett, NFL star lineman Mike Webster, Milwaukee Brewer Cecil Cooper, Milwaukee Bucks owner Sen. Herb Kohl and sportsman Fred Miller.

“Melges, dubbed the “Wizard of Zenda” for his sailing exploits, is recognized as one of the most successful competitive sailors in history, with dozens of national and international championships in many different classes.

“Melges won an Olympic gold medal in 1972 and bronze in 1964. He was a two-time Star World Champion (1978, 1979), a three-time 5.5 Meter World Champion (1967, 1973, 1983), a five-time E-Scow National Champion (1965, 1969, 1978, 1979, 1983), a seven-time Skeeter Ice Boat World Champion (1955, 1957, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1980, 1981) and a three-time Yachtsman of the Year.

“To cap off his competitive career, he helped steer America3 to a successful defense of the America’s Cup in 1992.”

Ted Turner and Gary Jobson presented videotape intros of Melges’ achievements and contribution to the sport.