Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stockholm 1912

Wherein from this book: The Story of the Olympic Games, 776B.C. to 1960 A.D..

For the first time in Olympic Games an electric timing system was used. It figured to a tenth of a second and functioned well during the games.[...]

Jim Thorped, the great Indian athlete, won the pentathlon this same day. It was just as easy for Jim as picking strawberries out of a dish. He was so far ahead of the other competitors that it was no contest at all. Endowed with a magnificent physique and a natural aptitude for sports, the big Indian amazed the Swedes by the ease and grace with which he distanced his rivals at the different events. He was the toast of all the taverns in the town and it was no secret that, when his health was drunk, Jim always was ready to respond in kind. On one occasion word was brought that King Gustaf wanted to congratulate Thorpe on his magnificent performances. The big Indian, however, was even then engaged in some weight-lifting exercises and begged to be left undisturbed by royalty. He was lifting full steins of Swedish beer and setting them down empty. He excelled at that sport, too. [...]

Running [in the 5000 meter race] against Hannes the Mighty was Jean Bouin, the great French runner who sported the type of mustache later flaunted to great advantage by Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler.


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