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Olympic Games

II (2nd) OLYMPIAD
PARIS, FRANCE | May 20th - Oct 28th, 1900


Paris, FRA


Paris 1900

PARIS, FRANCE
GAMES OF THE IInd OLYMPIAD

May 20 - October 28, 1900

Mascot - none

26 countries (incl. RUS, CUB, IND)
1066 athletes (19 women) - 884 from France alone

17 sports, 88 events

Opening - none

Torch lit by - none

Assigned by Pierre Coubertin

Along with his compatriot Alvin Kraenzlein, John Tewksbury dominated the sprint on the track at the Racing Club of France. The tall American won the 400m hurdles and 200m titles as well as picking up silver medals in the 60m and 100m. He completed his medal haul with a bronze medal in the 200m hurdles.

The year of the International Exhibition

Dreaming of a huge festival in his own country, baron Pierre de Coubertin appeared disappointed in 1900 by the second Games, of which he had taken over the responsibility in Paris in spite of Greece's insistence for a permanent site in Athens. Coubertin was resented by many chauvinistic French sports officials because of his international outlook and because of what was seen as his desire to import English ideas about education into the country. As a result, the 1900 Games almost didn't happen and, when they did happen, they were very poorly organized.

Progress began only after Coubertin resigned from the Union of French Athletic Associations (USFSA) in 1899. The USFSA then decided to hold the Olympics in conjunction with the Universal Paris Exhibition of 1900. That led to some absurdities, such as the fencing competition being held as a sort of sideshow in the exhibition's cutlery area.

That year, Paris was preoccupied with the International Exhibition, of which the Eiffel Tower had been the showpiece. Whilst the baron wanted to use this event as a springboard, it proved more of a hindrance. With no opening or closing ceremonies the Games were spread out between May 20 and October 28, in indifference and confusion, to the four corners of the capital. De Coubertin would say later: "It's a miracle the Olympic movement survived these Games".

Because there were other sporting events held in connection with the exposition, there was a great deal of confusion about which were Olympic contests and which weren't. Some athletes didn't even know they were taking part in the Olympics, while others thought they were in the Olympics when they really weren't. Despite all the confusion, 1,330 athletes, including 11 women, competed in 1900, representing 22 countries, according to the official IOC numbers, which have been revised several times. Competing in makeshift venues, they took part in 17 (18 disciplines) different sports. Some of these were open to women, notably tennis and golf. England's Charlotte Cooper became the first woman champion when winning both singles and doubles in the tennis tournament.

Swimming, wrestling, and weightlifting were dropped from the program and gymnastics was reduced to a single event, the all-around competition, while shooting was replaced by archery. Cricket, croquet, equestrian events, golf, rowing, rugby, soccer, tennis, and water polo were added, though several of those sports disappeared from the Olympics almost immediately.

As an example of the confusion, Margaret Abbott of the United States won a nine-hole golf tournament, which she entered as a lark. She is now on record as the first woman ever to win a gold medal but she died in 1955 without knowing it.

Another problem was that the French staged some events on Sunday, when a number of American athletes refused to compete because they believed in honoring the Lord's Day, including both entrants in the 1500-meter run and the country's Prix des Nations equestrian team.

The star of these Games was America's Alvin Kraenzlein, who excelled on the athletics track. In winning four individual titles in the course of one Games he was to set an unprecedented Olympic standard. Kraenzlein collected gold in the long jump, 60m, and both the 110m and 200m hurdles. Ray Ewry of the U. S. won three now-obsolete events, the standing high jump, standing broad jump, and standing triple jump. Irving Baxter won an unusual double, in the high jump and pole vault, and Walter Tewksbury won gold medals in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter hurdles. All told, the United States won 17 of the 23 track and field events.

Yet, as in Athens, the locals laid down the law, walking away with 96 titles, (26 gold medals). But, with help from athletes such as Kraenzlein, it was the Americans who dominated the athletics events. In spite of the Republic's president, M Loubert, being present at a number of events, these Games were neither grand nor striking. They wound up as they had started, with little panache and the hope that St Louis would stage them in 1904.

1896 
1900 
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1948 
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2008 

 

 

 

17 sports, 88 events

F
R
A

U
S
A

G
B
R

B
E
L

S
U
I

G
E
R

A
U
S

I
T
A

D
E
N

H
U
N

N
E
D

C
U
B

C
A
N

S
W
E

 

Archery

3

   

3

                   

6

Athletics

1

16

4**

     

1**

   

1

   

1

1

25

Cricket

   

1

                     

1

Croquet

3

                         

3

Cycling

1

                         

1

Equestrian

1

   

2

     

1

           

4

Fencing

5

           

1

     

1

   

7

Football

   

1

                     

1

Golf

 

2

                       

2

Gymnastics

1

                         

1

Polo

   

1

                     

1

Rowing

2*

2

     

1*

       

1

     

6

Rugby

1

                         

1

Sailing

4

 

3

 

1

                 

8

Shooting

4

   

1

5

     

1

         

11

Swimming (Water Polo)

1

 

3

   

2

2

             

8

Tennis

   

4

                     

4

TOTAL

27

20

17

6

6

3

3

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

90

* 2 golds were awarded in Rowing (M) Fours
** 5000m Team Race won jointly by Great Britain and Australia
NB: Medal count does not match. FRA +1

GOLD MEDAL WINNERS

86 Men, 2 Women (Golf, Tennis) Events

Archery
Au Cordon Dore - 33m: Henri Herouin, France
Au Cordon Dore - 50m: Hubert van Innis, Belgium
Au Chapelet - 33m: Eugene Mougin, France
Au Chapelet - 50m: Hubert van Innis, Belgium
Sur la perche a la herse: Emmanuel Foulon, Belgium
Sur la perche a la pyramide: Emile Grumiaux, France

Football
Team, men: Great Britain


Swimming
WATER POLO: Great Britain

Tennis
M/Singles: Laurence Doherty, GBR
M/Doubles: Laurence & Reggie Doherty, GBR
W/Singles: Charlotte Cooper, GBR
M/Doubles: Reggie Doherty & Charlotte Cooper, GBR

 

Country total medals for 1900 Paris, France.

 
 France 29 41 32 102
 USA 20 14 19 53
 Great Britain 17 8 10 35
 Belgium 8 7 5 20
 Switzerland 6 2 1 9
 Australia 4 0 4 8
 Germany 3 2 2 7
 Denmark 2 3 2 7
 Italy 2 2 0 4
 Hungary 1 3 2 6
 Netherlands 1 1 3 5
 Cuba 1 1 0 2
 Canada 1 0 1 2
 Sweden 1 0 1 2
 Austria 0 3 3 6
 Norway 0 2 3 5
 India 0 2 0 2
 Spain 0 1 0 1

 

Medals standing
1 France 26 40 31
2 United States 20 16 16
3 Great Britain 17 10 13
4 Belgium 6 5 5
5 Switzerland 6 1 1
6 Germany 3 2 2
7 Australia 3 0 4
8 Italy 2 1 0
9 Denmark 1 3 2
10 Hungary 1 3 2
11 Holland 1 2 3
12 Cuba 1 1 0
13 Canada 1 0 1
14 Sweden 1 0 1
15 Austria 0 3 3
16 Norway 0 2 3
17 India 0 2 0
18 Czech Republic Bohemia 0 1 2
19 Spain 0 1 0

 

 

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