America's First Olympics: The St. Louis Games Of 1904 by George R. Matthews

By George R. Matthews

 America in 1904 was once a country bristling with strength and self belief. encouraged by way of Theodore Roosevelt, the nation’s younger, lively, and athletic president, a activities mania rampaged around the state. desirous to rejoice its background, and to show its athletic power, the U.S. hosted the realm on the 1904 Louisiana buy Exposition in St. Louis. One a part of the World’s reasonable was once the nation’s first Olympic games.            Revived in Greece in 1896, the Olympic move was once additionally younger and full of life. actually, the St. Louis Olympics have been merely the 3rd nowa days. even though the video games have been initially presented to Chicago, St. Louis wrestled them from her rival urban opposed to the needs of foreign Olympic Committee President Pierre de Coubertin. Athletes got here from 11 international locations and 4 continents to compete in cutting-edge amenities, which integrated a ten-thousand-seat stadium with fitness center gear donated via carrying items tycoon Albert Spalding.            The 1904 St. Louis Olympics garnered purely compliment, and all agreed that the video games have been successful, enhancing either the profile of the Olympic circulation and the status of the USA. yet inside of many years, the video games of 1904 receded in reminiscence. They suffered a worse destiny with the e-book of Coubertin’s memoirs in 1931. His selective reminiscences, exaggerated claims, and fake statements became the forgotten Olympics into the failed Olympics. This prejudiced account was once furthered through the 1948 book of An licensed heritage of the Olympic video games by way of invoice Henry, which was once reviewed and recommended via Coubertin.            America’s First Olympics, by way of George R. Matthews, corrects universal misconceptions that all started with Coubertin’s memoirs and offers a clean view of the 1904 video games, which featured first-time African American Olympians, an eccentric and arguable marathon, and documentation by means of pioneering photojournalist Jessie Tarbox Beals. Matthews offers a great assessment of the St. Louis Olympics over a six-month interval, starting with the intrigue surrounding the move of the video games from Chicago. He additionally supplies special descriptions of the most important avid gamers within the Olympic circulate, the occasions that have been held in 1904, and the athletes who competed in them. This unique account may be welcomed via historical past and activities lovers who're drawn to a brand new point of view in this misunderstood event.            

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The officials of the Exposition were eager to host the Olympic games, were financially secure, promised new athletic facilities, and had already developed the organizational structure to administer the games. The Louisiana Purchase Exposition was to be an international extravaganza, hosting an international sports festival. The American public and the president of the United States enthusiastically supported the efforts of St. Louis, and the best athletes from around the world would participate in the St.

He had barely stepped ashore when Albert Spalding met him. Spalding informed Furber of the communications between himself and Frederick Skiff. Furber may have been anxious about conferring with St. Louis officials, but he agreed to do so. He may have thought that a scheduling compromise could be reached that would allow American athletes to compete in American championships in St. Louis as well as the separate Olympic games in Chicago. Such thoughts were dismissed once Furber met with Skiff and Alfred Shapleigh, chairman of the Physical Culture Committee.

The St. Louis Republic reported, “Roosevelt’s part in the negotiations is explained by his great interests when the Olympic Games were assigned to Chicago and because of his position as the head of a government which is a heavy financial partner in the Exposition. ”66 Roosevelt, ever the astute politician, realized his involvement was unnecessary. St. Louis officials, David Francis and Frederick Skiff, were forceful and determined negotiators. When Pierre de Coubertin refused to consider a postponement of the Olympics, and with the mixed feelings in Chicago, a transfer of the games to St.

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