Saturday, 7 January 2012

Stockholm 1912.

We enter our quickfire rundown of the last 100 years of Olympic History in Sweden, the first world war is looming and the Olympics as we know it is finding its feet. Here are the facts.

Electric timing devices were introduced.

This was the only Olympics to feature duelling. This required competitors to shoot at manniquins dressed in frock coats with a Bull's eye on the dummy's throat. The event was held over 20 meters and 30 meters.

Sweden, as the host country, refused to hold boxing events but introduced art and sculpture as Olympic disciplines.

Portuguese Francisco Lázaro died from a heart attack while running the marathon, the first athlete in the history of the modern Olympics to die during competition.

A Greco-Roman Wrestling bout between Martin Klein and Alfred Asikainen lasted 11 hours and forty minutes - the world's longest wrestling match. After Klein finally took the victory, he was too tired to compete in the final so Johansson, the other wrestler to make the final three, became the gold medalist.

American Jim Thorpe won the pentathlon and the decathlon but was disqualified because of violation of the rules of amateurism (having played, and been paid for, 2 seasons of semi professional baseball). The IOC decided in 1982 to posthumously reinstate Thorpe's name as the true winner and to present his heirs with duplicate medals.

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