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How Ridiculous the Olympics Once Were

Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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8/10/2012 4:56:47 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
The 1904 Summer Olympics were held in St. Louis, Missouri. Hilarity ensued.

The Marathon

The marathon was the most bizarre event of the Games. It was run in brutally hot weather, over dusty roads, with horses and automobiles clearing the way and creating dust clouds. The first to arrive at the finish line was Frederick Lorz, who actually rode the rest of the way in a car to retrieve his clothes, after dropping out after nine miles. The car broke down at the 19th mile, so he re-entered the race and jogged back to the finish line. When the officials thought he had won the race, Lorz played along with his practical joke until he was found out shortly after the medal ceremony and was banned for a year by the AAU for this stunt, later winning the 1905 Boston Marathon.

Thomas Hicks (a Briton running for the United States) was the first to cross the finish-line legally, after having received several doses of strychnine sulfate (a common rat poison, which stimulates the nervous system in small doses) mixed with brandy from his trainers. He was supported by his trainers when he crossed the finish, but is still considered the winner. Hicks had to be carried off the track, and possibly would have died in the stadium, had he not been treated by several doctors. A Cuban postman named Felix Carbajal joined the marathon, arriving at the last minute. He had to run in street clothes that he cut around the legs to make them look like shorts. He stopped off in an orchard en route to have a snack on some apples, which turned out to be rotten. The rotten apples caused him to have to lie down and take a nap. Despite falling ill to apples he finished in fourth place.

The marathon included the first two black Africans to compete in the Olympics: two Tswana tribesmen named Len Tau (real name: Len Taunyane) and Yamasani (real name: Jan Mashiani). They were not in St. Louis to compete in the Olympics, however; they were actually part of the sideshow. They had been brought over by the exposition as part of the Boer War exhibit (both were really students from Orange Free State in South Africa, but this fact was not made known to the public). Len Tau finished ninth and Yamasani came in twelfth. This was a disappointment, as many observers were sure Len Tau could have done better if he had not been chased nearly a mile off course by aggressive dogs.

the fcuk? Some other gems:

David Francis, the President of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, declined to invite anybody else to open the Games and, on 1 July did so himself in a scaled-down short and humdrum "ceremony."

The Games were so poorly run that, as a result, the Olympic movement almost came to an end. Officially, the games lasted for four and a half months.

The participants totalled 651 athletes - 645 men and 6 women representing 12 countries. However, only 42 events (less than half) actually included athletes who were not from the United States.

Golf, Roque, and Tug of War were Olympic sports in 1904.

US won 78 gold medals. The nearest challenger, Germany, won 4 gold medals. US total medals: 239; Germany: 13.

One of the most remarkable athletes was the American gymnast George Eyser, who won six medals even though his left leg was made of wood.

It is still disputed whether Italy, Norway, and Newfoundland even participated at the games.

Various indigenous men from around the world, who were at the World's Fair as part of the Department of Ethnology exhibits, competed in various events for anthropologists to see how they compared to the white man.
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Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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8/10/2012 2:14:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Were they fed a mixture of brandy and rat poison before the marathon?
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Primal Diet. Lifting. Reading. Psychedelics. Cold-Approach Pickup. Music.
carpediem
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8/11/2012 11:43:36 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 8/10/2012 2:14:30 PM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Were they fed a mixture of brandy and rat poison before the marathon?

That would be cheating.
"I would die at the stake rather than change a semi-colon!"
carpediem
Posts: 61
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8/11/2012 11:48:52 AM
Posted: 4 years ago
Did you know that in the Olympic games from 1912 to 1948 art was a competitive event? Medals were given in architecture, literature, music, painting and sculpture.
"I would die at the stake rather than change a semi-colon!"