Games of the III Olympiad
The 1904 St. Louis Olympics organizers repeated all of the mistakes of 1900. The Olympic competitions, spread out over four and a half months, were lost in the chaos of a World’s Fair. Of the 94 events generally considered to have been part of the Olympic program, only 42 included athletes who were not from the United States. The 1904 Olympics did have a few highlights. They were the first at which gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for first, second and third place. Boxing and freestyle wrestling made their debuts. Marathon runners Len Tau and Jan Mashiani, Tswana tribesmen who were in St. Louis as part of the Boer War exhibit at the World’s Fair, became the first Africans to compete in the Olympics. One of the most remarkable athletes was the American gymnast George Eyser, who won six medals even though his left leg was made of wood. Chicago runner James Lightbody won the steeplechase and the 800m and then set a world record in the 1,500m.
12 NOCs (Nations)
651 athletes (6 women, 645 men)