St. Louis 1904 Summer Olympic Games

As in Paris in 1900, the third installment of the Olympic Games took place as part of the World Fair.


Time and Place: St. Louis (USA); 1 July – 23 November 1904
Other candidates: Chicago and Illinois
Participation: 12 countries, 652 athletes
Number of sports: 17 sports, 91 events
Number of Slovenian athletes: /
Fire lit by: the Olympic fire was lit for the first time in Amsterdam in 1928. David Francis
Olyimpic oath: beginning in 1920


Trivia from the St. Louis 1904 Summer Olympic Games

The competitive sports side of the Games again failed to reach prominence due to tensions in the Exhibition. Utterly poor visibility and excessive duration of the competition resulted in exceedingly low interest. Events started in July and lasted until November, totaling over 400 competitions, not all of which were Olympic. Competitions included those for professional athletes and even students. The father of modern Olympism and then President of the IOC, Pierre de Coubertin, did not visit the Games and expressed his disappointment with the lack of promotion of Olympic ideas.


Responses of athletes also showed a lack of Olympic development and expansion. The number of participants was half that of the Paris Games, greatly due to large travel expenses. Most athletes came from the USA (73 percent) and this was clearly reflected in their success. Americans took 80 gold medals, 86 silver medals and 72 bronzes. In comparison - second placed Germany collected 5 gold medals, 4 silver ones and 6 bronzes. It is therefore logical to only find Americans among the most successful athletes. Gymnast Anton Heida reached the top of the charts.


The only thorn in the Americans' side was Irishman Thomas Kiely who won gold in the decathlon, consisting of the 100 yards run, the 120 yard hurdles, walking, high jump, long jump and pole vault, shot put, one mile run and hammer or weight throw.


Another athlete worth mentioning was American marathon runner Fred Lorz who "ran" part of the route in an accompanying car and returned to the race just before the finish line. He was banned from competition for life, but the penalty was later reduced.

The Saint Louis Olympics had no Slovenian participants.