United States at the 1896 Summer Olympics

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United States at the Olympic Games

Flag of the United States
IOC code  USA
NOC United States Olympic Committee
Website www.teamusa.org
At the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens
Competitors 14 in 3 sports
Medals
Rank: 1
Gold
11
Silver
7
Bronze
2
Total
20
Olympic history (summary)
Summer Games
Winter Games
Intercalated Games
1906

Fourteen competitors from the United States competed in three sports at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. The Americans were the most successful nation in terms of gold medals, beating host nation Greece, 11 to 10, despite fielding only 14 competitors compared to an estimated 169 Greek entrants. However, the Greeks' 46 total medals dwarfed the Americans' 20.

The United States team had 27 entries in 16 events, with 20 of the 27 resulting in top-three finishes.

Most of the American competitors were students at Harvard University or Princeton University or members of the Boston Athletic Association. The team trained at The Pennington School, in Pennington, New Jersey, while preparing in secret for the first modern Olympic Games.

Medalists[edit]

Of the 14 Americans at the Athens Games, 12 won medals. Charles Waldstein, a shooter, and Gardner Williams, a swimmer, were the two who did not win any medals.

Several members of America's first Olympic team in 1896. Standing: T.E. Burke, Thomas P. Curtis, Ellery H. Clark. Seated: W.W. Hoyt, Sumner Paine, Trainer John Graham, John B. Paine, Arthur C. Blake
Medal Name Sport Event
 Gold Burke, ThomasThomas Burke Athletics Men's 100 metres
 Gold Curtis, ThomasThomas Curtis Athletics Men's 110 metre hurdles
 Gold Burke, ThomasThomas Burke Athletics Men's 400 metres
 Gold Clark, ElleryEllery Clark Athletics Men's high jump
 Gold Clark, ElleryEllery Clark Athletics Men's long jump
 Gold Connolly, JamesJames Connolly Athletics Men's triple jump
 Gold Hoyt, WilliamWilliam Hoyt Athletics Men's pole vault
 Gold Garrett, RobertRobert Garrett Athletics Men's discus throw
 Gold Garrett, RobertRobert Garrett Athletics Men's shot put
 Gold Paine, JohnJohn Paine Shooting Men's 25 metre military pistol
 Gold Paine, SumnerSumner Paine Shooting Men's 30 metre free pistol
 Silver Jamison, HerbertHerbert Jamison Athletics Men's 400 metres
 Silver Blake, ArthurArthur Blake Athletics Men's 1500 metres
 Silver Connolly, JamesJames Connolly Athletics Men's high jump
 Silver Garrett, RobertRobert Garrett Athletics Men's high jump
 Silver Garrett, RobertRobert Garrett Athletics Men's long jump
 Silver Tyler, AlbertAlbert Tyler Athletics Men's pole vault
 Silver Paine, SumnerSumner Paine Shooting Men's 25 metre military pistol
 Bronze Lane, FrancisFrancis Lane Athletics Men's 100 metres
 Bronze Connolly, JamesJames Connolly Athletics Men's long jump

Results by event[edit]

Athletics[edit]

Thomas Curtis

The United States squad won nine gold medals in the twelve athletics (track and field) events, with contributions from six different athletes. Six silver medals and two bronze medals also went to the Americans in athletics.

Event Place Athlete Heat Final
100 metres 1st Thomas Burke 12.0 seconds 12.0 seconds
3rd Francis Lane 12.2 seconds 12.6 seconds
Thomas Curtis 12.2 seconds Did not start
400 metres 1st Thomas Burke 58.4 seconds 54.2 seconds
2nd Herbert Jamison 56.8 seconds 55.2 seconds
1500 metres 2nd Arthur Blake No heats 4:34.0
110 metre hurdles 1st Thomas Curtis 18.4 seconds 17.6 seconds
William Hoyt Unknown Did not start
Marathon Arthur Blake No heats Did not finish
James Connolly
Event Place Athlete Best mark
Long jump 1st Ellery Clark 6.35 metres
2nd Robert Garrett 6.00 metres
3rd James Connolly 5.84 metres
Triple jump 1st James Connolly 13.71 metres
High jump 1st Ellery Clark 1.81 metres
2nd James Connolly 1.65 metres
Robert Garrett 1.65 metres
Pole vault 1st William Hoyt 3.30 metres
2nd Albert Tyler 3.20 metres
Shot put 1st Robert Garrett 11.22
Ellery Clark Unknown
Discus throw 1st Robert Garrett 29.15 metres

Shooting[edit]

The Paine brothers contested only two events, taking the top two spots in the event in which they both competed, the military pistol. Sumner was the only one of the two to enter the free pistol, which he won. Waldstein was the third member of the American shooting contingent, competing in the military rifle event.

Event Place Shooter Score Hits
Military rifle Charles Waldstein Unknown
Military pistol 1st John Paine 442 25
2nd Sumner Paine 380 23
Free pistol 1st Sumner Paine 442 24

Swimming[edit]

Williams competed in two swimming events, placing in neither.

Event Place Swimmer Time
100 metre freestyle Gardner Williams Unknown
1200 metre freestyle Gardner Williams Unknown

References[edit]

  • Lampros, S.P.; Polites, N.G.; De Coubertin, Pierre; Philemon, P.J.; & Anninos, C. (1897). The Olympic Games: BC 776 – AD 1896. Athens: Charles Beck.  (Digitally available at [1])
  • Mallon, Bill; & Widlund, Ture (1998). The 1896 Olympic Games. Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary. Jefferson: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0379-9.  (Excerpt available at [2])
  • Smith, Michael Llewellyn (2004). Olympics in Athens 1896. The Invention of the Modern Olympic Games. London: Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-342-X.