France at the 1896 Summer Olympics

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France at the
1896 Summer Olympics
Flag of France.svg
IOC code FRA
NOC French National Olympic and Sports Committee
Website (in French)
in Athens
Competitors 12 in 6 sports
Ranked 4th
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)
Other related appearances
1906 Intercalated Games

Thirteen athletes from France competed in six sports at the 1896 Summer Olympics. France won the fourth-most gold medals with 5 and the fourth-most total medals with 11. Cycling was the sport in which the French competitors had the most success, as they completely dominated the field. The French team had 27 entries in 18 events, winning 11 medals.


Medal Name Sport Event Date
 Gold Paul Masson Cycling Men's 10 km April 11
Men's time trial April 11
Men's sprint April 11
 Gold Léon Flameng Cycling Men's 100 km April 8
 Gold Eugène-Henri Gravelotte Fencing Men's foil April 7
 Silver Alexandre Tuffère Athletics Men's triple jump April 6
 Silver Léon Flameng Cycling Men's 10 km April 11
 Silver Henri Callot Fencing Men's foil April 7
 Silver Joanni Perronet Fencing Men's masters foil April 7
 Bronze Albin Lermusiaux Athletics Men's 1500 m April 7
 Bronze Léon Flameng Cycling Men's sprint April 11


The five French athletes won 2 medals between them.

Track and road
Athlete Events Heat Final
Result Rank Result Rank
Alphonse Grisel 100 m Unknown Unknown Did not advance
Alphonse Grisel 400 m Unknown Unknown Did not advance
Frantz Reichel Unknown Unknown Did not advance
Albin Lermusiaux 800 m 2:16.6 1 Q DNS
Georges de la Nézière Unknown Unknown Did not advance
Albin Lermusiaux 1500 m n/a 4:37.0 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
Frantz Reichel 110 m hurdles Unknown Unknown DNS
Albin Lermusiaux marathon n/a DNF
Field Events
Athlete Events Final
Result Rank
Alphonse Grisel Discus throw Unknown Unknown
Alexandre Tuffère Triple jump 12.70 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Alphonse Grisel Long jump[1] 5.83 5
Alexandre Tuffère 5.98 4


Leon Flameng and Paul Masson

France dominated the cycling events, taking 4 of the 6 gold medals. Three were won by Paul Masson who won every event he entered, with Léon Flameng adding the fourth as well as a silver and a bronze. One of the two won each event that a Frenchman contested; the two gold medals won by other countries were in competitions that Masson and Flameng did not enter.

Athlete Event Time / Distance Rank
Paul Masson Time trial 24.0 1st, gold medalist(s)
Sprint 4:58.2 1st, gold medalist(s)
10 km 17:54.2 1st, gold medalist(s)
Léon Flameng Time trial 27.0 5
Sprint Unknown 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
10 km 17:54.8 2nd, silver medalist(s)
100 km 3:08:19.2 1st, gold medalist(s)


Group of French and Greek fencers at 1896 Summer Olympics
The final sword match 1896 Summer Olympics

The French fencers were held in high regard prior to the Games; Gravelotte and Callot validated those expectations in the amateur foil competition. Each went undefeated in their pool, advancing to face each other in the final. Gravelotte won the first-to-3 bout. Surprisingly, however, Perronet lost to the Greek Leonidas Pyrgos in the only match of the masters competition.

Athlete Event Record Touches Final Rank
Wins Losses For Against
Eugène-Henri Gravelotte Foil 4 0 12 7 1st, gold medalist(s)
Henri Callot 3 1 11 7 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Henri Delaborde 1 2 5 8 5
Joanni Perronet Masters foil 0 1 1 3 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Opponent nation Wins Losses Percent
Greece 6 2 .750
Total international 6 2 .750
France 2 2 .500
Total 8 4 .667


Grisel competed in the parallel bars in the gymnastics program. The competitions had no formal scoring, the judges merely selecting the winner and runner-up. Grisel was neither in his competition.

Athlete Event Result Rank
Alphonse Grisel Parallel bars Unknown Unknown


Lermusiaux entered the military rifle event in the shooting program. His score and placing are unknown.

Athlete Event Hits Score Rank
Albin Lermusiaux 200 m military rifle Unknown Unknown Unknown


Only the last name of the French tennis player in 1896 is known. He was defeated in the first round of the singles tournament.

Athlete Event First round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
J. Defert Singles  Kasdaglis (GRE)
Did not advance
Opponent nation Wins Losses Percent
Greece 0 1 .000
Total 0 1 .000


  1. ^ "JEUX OLYMPIQUES" (PDF). Retrieved 4 March 2017. 
  • 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.