United States at the 1896 Summer Olympics

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United States at the
1896 Summer Olympics
US flag 44 stars.svg
IOC code USA
NOC United States Olympic Committee
in Athens
Competitors 14 in 3 sports
Medals
Ranked 1st
Gold Silver Bronze Total
11 7 2 20
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)
Other related appearances
1906 Intercalated Games

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

Athletics pictogram.svg Athletics[edit]

Thomas Curtis
US athletic team

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.

Track & Road
Athlete Events Heat Final
Time Rank Time Rank
Thomas Burke 100 m 11.8 1 Q 12.0 1st, gold medalist(s)
Francis Lane 12.2 1 Q 12.6 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
Thomas Curtis 12.2 1 Q Did not start
Thomas Burke 400 m 58.4 1 Q 54.2 1st, gold medalist(s)
Herbert Jamison 56.8 1 Q 55.2 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Arthur Blake 1500 m n/a 4:34.0 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Thomas Curtis 110 m hurdles 18.0 1 Q 17.6 1st, gold medalist(s)
William Hoyt Unknown 2 Q Did not start
Arthur Blake Marathon n/a Did not finish
James Connolly
Field Events
Athlete Events Final
Result Rank
Ellery Clark Long jump 6.35 1st, gold medalist(s)
Robert Garrett 6.00 2nd, silver medalist(s)
James Connolly 5.84 3rd, bronze medalist(s)
James Connolly Triple jump 13.71 1st, gold medalist(s)
Ellery Clark High jump 1.81 1st, gold medalist(s)
James Connolly 1.65 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Robert Garrett 1.65 2nd, silver medalist(s)
William Hoyt Pole vault 3.30 1st, gold medalist(s)
Albert Tyler 3.20 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Robert Garrett Shot put 11.22 1st, gold medalist(s)
Ellery Clark Unknown Unknown
Robert Garrett Discus throw 29.15 1st, gold medalist(s)


Shooting pictogram.svg 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.

Athlete Event Hits Score Rank
John Paine 25 m military pistol 25 442 1st, gold medalist(s)
Sumner Paine 23 380 2nd, silver medalist(s)
Sumner Paine 30 m free pistol 24 442 1st, gold medalist(s)
Charles Waldstein 200 m military rifle Unknown

Swimming[edit]


Williams competed in two swimming events, placing in neither.

Men
Athlete Event Final
Time Rank
Gardner Williams 100 metre freestyle Unknown
1200 metre freestyle 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.