United States at the 1896 Summer Olympics
|United States at the Olympic Games|
|At the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens|
|Competitors||14 in 3 sports|
|Olympic history (summary)|
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.
Results by event
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.
|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|
|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|
|Discus throw||1st||Robert Garrett||29.15 metres|
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.
|Military rifle||–||Charles Waldstein||Unknown|
|Military pistol||1st||John Paine||442||25|
|Free pistol||1st||Sumner Paine||442||24|
Williams competed in two swimming events, placing in neither.
|100 metre freestyle||–||Gardner Williams||Unknown|
|1200 metre freestyle||–||Gardner Williams||Unknown|
- 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 )
- 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 )
- Smith, Michael Llewellyn (2004). Olympics in Athens 1896. The Invention of the Modern Olympic Games. London: Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-342-X.