The History of Sport -1924: The First Winter Olympics, “Chariots of Fire” and the Flying Finns at the Paris Summer Olympics, the First Cheltenham Gold Cup

Some of the main events of 1924 in sport:

Huddersfield win the English League in football by 0.02 goals from Cardiff when the title was decided by goal average.  This is the smallest margin the title has been won by.

The International Hockey Federation was formed.

Sir Malcolm Campbell breaks the world land speed record for the first time when going at 146 mph.

The 1924 Women’s Olympiad was the first international competition for women in track and field in the United Kingdom

The inaugural Brownlow Medal, for the outstanding Australian Rules footballer of the season, is awarded to Edward Greeves of Geelong.

In Baseball the Kansas City Monarchs defeat Hilldale 5 games to 4 with 1 tie in the first official Negro League World Series.
Pitcher Nip Winters wins a record 27 games for Hilldale in the ECL regular season.

In cricket Test matches England defeats South Africa 3–0 with two matches drawn. The South Africans are bowled out for only 30, in just 12.3 overs, in their first innings of the First Test at Edgbaston.

The 1924 Winter Olympics, the inaugural Winter Olympics, takes place in Chamonix, France. It is originally called Semaine des Sports d’Hiver, or “International Winter Sports Week”.

Athletes from 16 nations competed. Medals were awarded in 16 events contested in 5 sports (9 disciplines).
Norway wins the most medals (18) and the most gold medals (5)

The first gold medal awarded in the Olympic Winter Games was won by Charles Jewtraw of the United States in the 500-metre speed skate.

Speed skating debuts as an Olympic sport in Chamonix at the inaugural Winter Olympics. Five men only events are held. Clas Thunberg of Finland wins three golds.

Sonja Henie, at just eleven years old, skates in the ladies’ figure skating competition. Although she finishes last, she becomes popular with fans. Henie went on to take gold at the next three Winter Olympics.  The figure skater Gillis Grafström was the first to successfully defend his Summer Olympics title, as the event had been held in Antwerp in 1920’s Summer Games, at the Winter Olympics.

The Canadian ice hockey team (Toronto Granites) finished their qualifying round with three wins, scoring a total of 85 goals without conceding  a single goal.  The Canadian ice-hockey team is the last ever to successfully defend its Summer Olympics title at the Winter Olympics.

Curling is played at the inaugural Winter Olympics. It is a demonstration sport at the time but is retrospectively granted official status. The gold medal is won by the Great Britain and Ireland team.
Nordic skiing stages its first international competitions at the inaugural Winter Olympics in Chamonix. Four events are held (for men only): cross-country skiing over 18 km and 50 km; ski jumping on the large hill; and Nordic combined as an individual event.
Thorleif Haug (Norway) wins three golds.

Originally called Semaine des Sports d’Hiver (“Week of Winter Sports”) and held in association with the 1924 Summer Olympics, the sports competitions held in Chamonix between 25 January and 5 February 1924 were later designated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the I Olympic Winter Games. (1924 Winter Olympics)
These were the first Games to feature an Olympic Village.

The 1924 Summer Olympics takes place in Paris.
A total of 44 nations were represented 126 events in 23 disciplines, comprising 17 sports,
United States wins the most medals (99) and the most gold medals (45)
The opening ceremony and several sporting events took place in the Olympic Stadium of Colombes, which had a capacity of 45,000 in 1924.
This VIII Olympiad was the last one organised under the presidency of Pierre de Coubertin.
The “Flying Finns” dominated the long distance running, while the British and Americans dominated the shorter events. Paavo Nurmi won the 1500 m and 5,000 m (which were held with only an hour between them) and the cross country run. Ville Ritola won the 10,000 m and the 3,000 m steeplechase, while finishing second to Nurmi on the 5,000 m and cross country. Albin Stenroos won the marathon, while the Finnish team (with Nurmi and Ritola) was victorious in the 3,000 m and cross country team events.
British runners Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell won the 100 m and 400 m events, respectively. Their stories are depicted in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire. In addition, Douglas Lowe won the 800 m competition.
The marathon distance was fixed at 42.195 km (26.219 mi), from the distance run at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.
The 1924 Olympics were the first to use the standard 50 m pool with marked lanes.
Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller won three gold medals in swimming and one bronze in water polo.
Harold Osborn won gold medals and set Olympic records in both the high jump and the decathlon at the 1924 Olympics. His 6′ 6″ high jump remained the Olympic record for 12 years, while his decathlon score of 7,710.775 points also set a world record.
Fencer Roger Ducret of France won five medals, of which three were gold.  Women’s foil fencing is introduced to the Games with E.Osiier of Denmark winning gold.

In gymnastics, 24 men scored a perfect 10. Twenty-three of them scored it in the now-discontinued event of rope climbing. Albert Seguin scored a 10 here and also a perfect 10 on side vault.

Carl Osburn (US) wins his eleventh shooting medal (five gold, four silver, two bronze)

Ugo Frigerio (Italy) wins his third walking gold.  Bud Houser (US) wins the shot put and discus titles.

The USA win the rugby gold in the sport’s final appearance at the Games for nearly one hundred years.

For Britain Jack Beresford wins the rowing single sculls gold and the coxless fours also win.  Harry Mallin retains his middleweight boxing title (he is the only Briton ever to retain a boxing title) and H Mitchell wins the light-heavyweight gold.  L Morton wins the 200m breaststroke title.

The Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) was used for the first time at the Olympics.
Ireland was given formal recognition as an independent nation in the Olympic Movement in Paris in 1924, and it was at these games that Ireland made its first appearance in an Olympic Games as an independent nation.

The inaugural running of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, now the most prestigious event in British steeplechasing, is won by Red Splash.

The rugby union Five Nations Championship series is won by England who complete the Grand Slam.

The Wimbledon Women’s Singles Championship is won by Kitty McKane Godfree (Great Britain) defeating Helen Wills Moody (USA).  McKane also wins the Olympic title in tennis’s last appearance at the Games for 64 years.  It brings her total of medals to five, a record for a British woman in any sport in the Twentieth Century.   She also won the All-England singles badminton title for the fourth time and the Wimbledon mixed doubles title.

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