Olympics Photo of the Day

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

1904 Summer Olympics

The 1904 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the III Olympiad, were held in St. Louis, Missouri in the United States from July 1, 1904 to November 23, 1904, at what is now known as Francis Field on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis. Chicago had won the original bid to host the games, but the Louisiana Purchase Exposition would not accept another international event in the same time frame. The organization began to plan for its own sports activities, informing the Chicago Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games that the Exposition would try to make the Olympic Games less important than the Exposition games unless the Olympic Games were moved to St. Louis. Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic movement, finally agreed...
St. Louis repeated the mistakes made at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris. Competitions were reduced to a side-show of the World's Fair and were lost in the chaos of other, more popular cultural exhibits. David Francis, the President of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, did not invite anybody else to open the games and, on July 1, 1904, did so himself in a small, short 'ceremony'.
Officially, the games lasted for months; in fact, James Edward Sullivan tried to hold an event every day of the fair. The Olympic events were again mixed with other sporting events, but unlike Paris, who hardly ever mentioned the Olympics, Sullivan called all his sports events "Olympic". From these events, the International Olympic Committee declared 94 of them to be Olympic. A total of 651 athletes competed in the games—645 men and 6 women, representing 12 countries. In fact, only 42 of the events actually included athletes who were not from the United States. The majority of the recognized Olympic sports were held from Monday, August 29 to Saturday, September 3, 1904.