Dick Emberger is an icon at Roanoke College: he's a former track and field star turned Olympian.
"It was a thrill to be out there with all the best athletes," Emberger says.
He came in 10th place in the decathlon in Tokyo in 1964.
"Just the idea of competing and to be out there is a great thrill, not only for yourself, but your college and your country," he says.
With the 2012 summer Olympics starting in less than 24 hours, Emberger says he is just as anxious as he was in 1964.
"It definitely brings back fond memories to have an opportunity to compete against the best in the world," he says, "so it is interesting to see how well we will do and to cheer on the United States."
Emberger's days as an Olympian are remembered at the Bast Center at Roanoke College. There, his opening ceremonies jacket hangs to remind students of his accomplishments.
Roanoke College track and cross county coach Fin Pincus says everyone knows Emberger's story.
"Seventy-five percent of our team members have met Dick," Pincus says. "They are going to pay more attention to the Olympics because of Dick."
For decades, Emberger was the only Roanoke College grad to compete in the Olympics, but this year, Shelley Olds will compete in cycling. Emberger says this year's Olympics is special, and plans to watch both the decathlon and cycling competitions.
"It is always a pleasure to watch the Olympics, especially since we have an ex-Roanoke College athlete that will compete in cycling," Emberger says. "It is always wonderful to see one of our athletes compete."