John Daly (athlete)

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John Daly
John Daly athlete.jpg
John Daly
Medal record
Men’s athletics
Olympic Games
Competitor for  Great Britain
Silver medal – second place 1904 St Louis 2590 m steeplechase

John Daly (John Joseph Daly; February 22, 1880 – March 11, 1969) was an Irish athlete who won a silver medal in the 1904 Summer Olympics. When not competing for Ireland as a member of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Daly competed as a member of the Irish American Athletic Club.


He was born in Galway, Ireland and died in New York City.

Daly competed in the 1904 Summer Olympics held in St Louis, United States in the 2590 metre steeple chase where he won the silver medal. Although officially representing Great Britain, Daly saw himself as an individual representing Ireland. Later that year he won the Canadian mile and two-mile championships.

In 1906 Daly and two other athletes, Con Leahy and Peter O'Connor, were entered for the Intercalated Games in Athens by the IAAA and GAA, representing Ireland. They were given green blazers and caps with a gold shamrock, and an Irish flag (the Erin Go Bragh flag). However, the rules of the games were changed so that only athletes nominated by National Olympic Committees were eligible. Ireland did not have an Olympic Committee, and the British Olympic Council claimed the three as their own.

In what became the first political protest in modern Olympic history, O'Connor, who came second in the long jump, scaled the flagpole, and removed the Union flag, replacing it with a green flag. Daly stood guard at the bottom of the pole, while Irish and American fans kept security guards at bay.

In 1907 he enjoyed his greatest successes, winning the 5 mile and 10 mile U.S A.A.U. titles and the Canadian 3 mile title.[1][2]

In 1909, running for the Irish American Athletic Club, he came in second place in the Yonkers Marathon, with a time of 2 hours 55 minutes and 44 and 4/5 seconds.[3]


  1. ^ "DALY WINS RUN AT CELTIC PARK; Irish-American Athlete Captures Three-Mile Event at Firemen's Games." New York Times, Aug 26, 1907
  2. ^ "DALY EASY WINNER IN TEN MILE RUN; Irish-American A.C. Athlete Takes Championship by Quarter of a Mile. OUTCLASSES HIS FIELD Eighteen Competitors Take Part in A.A.U. Event at Polo Grounds." New York Times, Oct 13, 1907.
  3. ^ "POLICE BREAK UP YONKERS MARATHON; Order Official Off Track and Referee Sullivan Stops the Contest. FOWLER WINS OVER DALY Cambridge (Mass.) Runner Leads by Half Mile at Finish -- Crowd Accuses Scorers of Unfairness." New York Times, Jan 2, 1909.

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