1912 Summer Olympics Explained
The 1912 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the V Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1912 in Stockholm, Sweden. For the first time, competitors in the Games came from all five continents symbolized in the Olympic rings. Also for the first time since 1896, all athletic events were held within a reasonably short time span of about one month, from late June to late July (though the opening ceremony was still held much earlier). It was the last time that solid gold medals were awarded; modern medals are usually gold plated silver. The main arena was Stockholms Olympiastadion.
A winter sports week for the 1912 Games featuring figure skating was rejected by organizers because they wanted to promote the Nordic Games, a quadrennial sporting event, instead.
- Francisco Lázaro, a Portuguese runner died from the heat while running the marathon, the first athlete in the history of the modern Olympics to die during competition.
- A Greco-Roman Wrestling bout between Klein and Asikainen lasted 11 hours and forty minutes - the world's longest wrestling match.  After Klein finally took the victory, he was too tired to compete in the final. Thus Johansson, the other wrestler to make the final-three to determine the medals, whose only loss in the elimination rounds had been the double loss to Asikainen, became the gold medalist.
- American Jim Thorpe won the pentathlon and the newly created decathlon. He was disqualified because of violation of the principles of amateurism, but was reinstated in 1982.
- The U.S. Olympic Team included 14 members of the Irish American Athletic Club, including gold medalists George Bonhag, Abel Kiviat, Patrick McDonald and Mel Sheppard.
- Swedish marksman Oscar Swahn became the oldest Olympic gold medalist (up to that time), at the age of 64, in the deer-shooting event.
- Women's events in swimming and diving were introduced.
- Sweden, as the host country, refused to allow boxing events.
- Future World War II General George S. Patton took part in the first modern pentathlon competition. Modern pentathlon was the idea of Pierre de Coubertin.
- In athletics, electric timing devices were first used.
- This was the last Olympics where "private entries" were allowed (ie not part of a country's officially selected team). Arnold Jackson was one such, winning the 1500m by 0.1 second, ahead of an American trio, who were strong favourites, in what was acclaimed at the time as "the greatest race ever run". Aged 21, he remains the youngest ever winner of this event.
- Ewart Douglas Horsfall won his first two gold medals for Great Britain in rowing. He has widely been considered Britain's greatest rower prior to Steve Redgrave.
- 1912 saw the first art competitions at the Olympic Games, a tradition that was to be kept up until 1948. Only two persons have won Olympic medals in both sport and art competitions. Walter Winans, an American who lived in England, won a gold medal as a marksman at the 1908 Summer Olympics in the running deer (double shot) competition. In 1912, he won another shooting medal — silver this time — in the running deer team competition. By then, he had already won a gold medal for his sculpture An American trotter. The other Olympian with successes in both fields is Alfréd Hajós of Hungary. As a swimmer, he won two gold medals at the 1896 Athens Olympics. Twenty-eight years later, he was awarded a silver medal in architecture for his stadium design, co-designed with Dezső Lauber.
28 nations competed in Stockholm.
See main article: 1912 Summer Olympics medal count. These are the top ten nations that won medals at the 1912 Games.
|2|| (host nation)||24||24||17||65|
Notes and References
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics_2004/wrestling/history/default.stm Ancient art back in Athens
- http://thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com/long358.html The World's Longest Wrestling Match