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St. Louis 1904 - Quick hits

Wooden leg

American gymnast George Eyser, who won three gold medals (parallel bars, horse vault, rope climbing), two silvers (pommel horse, combined) and a bronze (high bar), astonished the world with his success - considering that he was competing with a wooden leg, his left leg having been amputated after he was run over by a train.

Phantom representative

Albert Coray, silver medallist in the marathon, won a medal for France even though the country was not officially present. He was actually chosen to compete by the Chicago Athletic Association, with whom he won a second silver in the 4x1 mile relay event.

Feet in the water

The swimming contests were held in an artificial lake built for the International Exhibition. Races were started from a raft, with competitors sitting with their feet in the water. On a regular basis the presence of eight people on the landing stage resulted in leaking.

Public scattered

Whilst hundreds of thousands of visitors were attracted by agricultural machines or the museums concentrating on the American Civil War, scarcely two thousand spectators turned up to watch the athletics, normally the number one attraction at the Games.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.


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