Philip T. Gravink made a name for himself in various sports. Gravink competed in football, rowing and bicycling along with being involved with the ski industry for over 40 years.
Gravink was bom in Clymer in 1936 and was raised on a 125-head, 460-acre dairy farm. He went to Clymer Central School and graduated in 1953. During his time in school, he was a member of Clymer's six-man football championship club.
After high school, Gravink attended Cornell University from 1953-1957 where he earned a bachelor of science degree in agriculture. When arriving at Cornell, Gravink was among the nine freshmen oarsmen who competed on the rowing team for veteran coach R. Harrison (Stork) Sanford. Ironically, none of the participants had ever rowed before going to Ithaca and only one had ever seen a race.