Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's pole vault

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Men's pole vault
at the Games of the I Olympiad
Venue Panathinaiko Stadium
Dates April 10
Competitors 5 from 2 nations
1st, gold medalist(s) William Hoyt
 United States
2nd, silver medalist(s) Albert Tyler
 United States
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Evangelos Damaskos
3rd, bronze medalist(s) Ioannis Theodoropoulos
1900 →
Athletics at the
1896 Summer Olympics
Olympic Athletics.png
Track events
100 m   men
400 m men
800 m men
1500 m men
110 m hurdles men
Road events
Marathon men
Field events
Long jump men
Triple jump men
High jump men
Pole vault men
Shot put men
Discus throw men

The men's pole vault was one of four jumping events on the Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme. Five athletes competed in the pole vault. The two Americans far outclassed the three Greeks, starting higher than the Greeks could clear and taking first and second places. Damaskos and Theodoropoulos tied for third, while Xydas took fifth.


Place Athlete Height
1  William Hoyt (USA) 3.30 m
2  Albert Tyler (USA) 3.20 m
3  Evangelos Damaskos (GRE) 2.60 m
 Ioannis Theodoropoulos (GRE) 2.60 m
5  Vasilios Xydas (GRE) 2.40 m

The three Greeks began with the bar at 2.40 metres. All three made that mark. The bar was then raised .10 metres at a time, eliminating Xydas after he failed the second jump and the other two after they failed the fourth height. The American pair did not jump at any of those heights, instead beginning at 2.80 metres, a height that gave neither any difficulty. Tyler was unable to clear the 3.30 metres height, and Hoyt failed at 3.40 metres only.


  • 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.