FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A former Fresno State decathlete spent six years training and competing with Bruce Jenner on the track and field circuit.
Decathletes are a unique group. They compete in 10 grueling events but share each other's pain and glory. Roger George trained in Fresno. Bruce Jenner trained in San Jose but the two traveled and competed together.
George was a world class decathlete in the 1970s. He last saw Jenner almost three years ago at the Olympic Trials. Roger said, "It was a great time. It was great getting back together again. We're all comrades in arms and friends."
George spent thousands of hours at Warmderdam Field back when it was a dirt track. The two went out to celebrate when Jenner made the 1972 Olympic team. Their families were close as well.
George fondly remembered qualifying for the 1973 World University Games in Moscow. "I actually ended up beating him. One of the last persons to beat him in the decathlon and I got to go to Russia and he didn't."
But Roger said Bruce Jenner was ahead of the field on every level leading up to the 1976 Olympics. One day while training at UCLA George recalled, "He came out on the field and came over to me and said hey Rog, I think I'm going to break the world record. I plan on winning the Olympics and by the way I also chose you as the third man on the team publicly." George said he missed making that team by a mere second.
Bruce Jenner will always be his good friend but Roger did not plan to watch the ABC special. "The truth is I choose to remember Bruce and look at him the way that I know him."
They shared many happy memories.
Roger George is a local fishing guide who also serves as the Fresno Bee's fishing columnist.
Former Bulldog and Bruce Jenner long-time competitors
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