The History of Sport 1912: Stockholm Olympics – Jim Thorpe’s double, Kolehmainen’s treble, Swahn wins gold aged 64

Some of the notable events in sport in 1912

In baseball Boston Red Sox open the new Fenway Park with a 7–6 11-inning win over New York Yankees before 27,000

A triangular Test cricket tournament is played in England between England, Australia and South Africa. England wins with Australia second.

John Ball wins his eighth Amateur golf title.

Billy Papke (USA) wins the world middleweight boxing title for the fourth time.  Britain’s Sid Smith wins the first world flyweight title but loses it later in the year to countryman Bill Cadbury.

The All-England Women’s Lacrosse Association is formed.

Frank Wootton wins his fourth successive British flat jockeys title.

The first British gliding club, the Amberley Aviation Society is founded in Arundel.

The first slot-car racing, Lionel Racing Automobiles (electric), takes place in the USA.

The International Amateur Wrestling Federation is formed.

World Pairs Figure Skating Champions are Phyllis Johnson and James H. Johnson for the second time.

British Isles regain the Davis Cup by defeating Australasia 3-2.

Fred Covey of Britain wins the world Real Tennis title.


Olympic Games held in Stockholm

Twenty-eight nations and 2,408 competitors, including 48 women, competed in 102 events in 14 sports.
The games were the first to have art competitions, women’s diving, women’s swimming, and the first to feature both the decathlon and the new pentathlon, both won by Jim Thorpe. Electric timing was introduced in athletics, while the host country disallowed boxing, the only time the sport hasn’t featured in the modern Olympics. Figure skating was rejected by the organizers because they wanted to promote the Nordic Games. United States won the most gold medals (25), while Sweden won the most medals overall (65).

The first world record in the 100 metres for men is recognised by the International Amateur Athletics Federation, now known as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), after Donald Lippincott (USA) runs a time of 10.6 at Stockholm.

American Jim Thorpe won the pentathlon and the newly created decathlon. He was disqualified and stripped of his medals for violation of the rules of amateurism, as he had played two seasons’ worth of semi-professional baseball before coming to the Games. In 1982, those medals were restored by the IOC.
Hannes Kolehmainen was the most successful athlete, winning three individual golds and setting records at the games, with new Olympic Records set in the 5,000, 10,000 metre and cross country races.

Britain’s Ernest Webb wins his third medal for walking at his second Games.  Britain also wins gold through Arnold Jackson in the 1500m and the 4 x 100m relay team.  Erik Lemming of Sweden retains his javelin title, his seventh medal.  Mel Sheppard (USA) wins his fourth Olympic gold medal.

Alberto Braglia (Italy) retains his Olympic gymnastics all-round title.

William Kinnear of Britain wins the single sculls rowing gold.  Britain win the Eights title.

Britain win the men’s 4 x 100m freestyle relay swimming gold.  Britain win the water polo gold for the third time.

Equestrian and Modern Pentathlon make a first appearance at the modern Olympics.

In football Great Britain retained its gold medal against Denmark in front of 25,000 spectators. Goals from Harold Walden, Arthur Berry and two from Gordon Hoare helped Britain to win by a margin of 4–2.  Gottfried Fuchs of Germany scores ten goals in a match v Russia that they win 16-0.

64-year-old Oscar Swahn, part of the Swedish single shot running deer team wins gold, he is still the oldest gold medal winner in Olympic history

The longest recorded wrestling bout ever takes place with the bout between Anders Ahlgren of Sweden and Ivar Böhling of Finland for the gold medal lasting more than nine hours. The match was then declared a draw with both athletes being awarded the silver medal as neither won the match.

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