Sunday, 9 October 2011

Paris 1900 - The Highlights.

Here are just a few of the historic moments from the 1900 Games.

The croquet tournament marked the first appearance of women at Olympic level. The French dominated (all but one team being French) and a single paying spectator attended the tournament, an elderly English gentleman who had travelled specially from Nice.

Charles de Venville stayed submerged for over a minute to win the underwater swimming event.

In the marathon Arthur Newton of the United States finished fifth but stated he had not been passed by another runner throughout. Another American, Richard Grant, was run down by a patriotic cyclist as he made ground on the French leaders. The French took home gold and silver but were the only team not covered in mud at the finish, thereby arousing some suspicion and allegations of short cuts.

Margaret Ives Abbott, a student of art from Chicago, played in and won a nine hole golf tournament. She died in 1955 without being aware that the tournament was part of the Olympic Games and she had become America's first ever female Olympic champion.

In addition to the official games which included Tug of War, Tennis, football and the swimming obstacle race there was angling, ballooning, boules, cannon shooting, fire fighting, kite flying, life saving and both pigeon racing and live pigeon shooting, hopefully not on the same day.

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