America's First Olympics: The St. Louis Games of 1904

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University of Missouri Press, 2005. 7. 22. - 256페이지
America in 1904 was a nation bristling with energy and confidence. Inspired by Theodore Roosevelt, the nation’s young, spirited, and athletic president, a sports mania rampaged across the country. Eager to celebrate its history, and to display its athletic potential, the United States hosted the world at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. One part of the World’s Fair was the nation’s first Olympic games. Revived in Greece in 1896, the Olympic movement was also young and energetic. In fact, the St. Louis Olympics were only the third in modern times. Although the games were originally awarded to Chicago, St. Louis wrestled them from her rival city against the wishes of International Olympic Committee President Pierre de Coubertin. Athletes came from eleven countries and four continents to compete in state-of-the-art facilities, which included a ten-thousand-seat stadium with gymnasium equipment donated by sporting goods magnate Albert Spalding. The 1904 St. Louis Olympics garnered only praise, and all agreed that the games were a success, improving both the profile of the Olympic movement and the prestige of the United States. But within a few years, the games of 1904 receded in memory. They suffered a worse fate with the publication of Coubertin’s memoirs in 1931. His selective recollections, exaggerated claims, and false statements turned the forgotten Olympics into the failed Olympics. This prejudiced account was furthered by the 1948 publication of An Approved History of the Olympic Games by Bill Henry, which was reviewed and endorsed by Coubertin. America’s First Olympics, by George R. Matthews, corrects common misconceptions that began with Coubertin’s memoirs and presents a fresh view of the 1904 games, which featured first-time African American Olympians, an eccentric and controversial marathon, and documentation by pioneering photojournalist Jessie Tarbox Beals. Matthews provides an excellent overview of the St. Louis Olympics over a six-month period, beginning with the intrigue surrounding the transfer of the games from Chicago. He also gives detailed descriptions of the major players in the Olympic movement, the events that were held in 1904, and the athletes who competed in them. This original account will be welcomed by history and sports enthusiasts who are interested in a new perspective on this misunderstood event.

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118 페이지 - Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, Meet me at the fair. Don't tell me the lights are shining Any place but there. "We will dance the Hoochee Koochee, I will be your tootsie wootsie. If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis, Meet me at the fair.
115 페이지 - So thoroughly does it represent the world's civilization that if all man's other works were by some unspeakable catastrophe, blotted out, the records here established by the assembled nations would offer all necessary standards for the rebuilding of our entire civilization.
81 페이지 - The important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning, but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering, but fighting well.
112 페이지 - Open ye gates! Swing wide ye portals! Enter herein ye sons of men! Learn the lesson here taught and gather from it inspiration for still greater accomplishments.
25 페이지 - But the police have lied before, and, like the celebrated Orchard, they need "corroborative evidence." All that we really know of Czolgosz is his revolver shot and his dying words: "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the people, the good, working people." All between is blank. What he really said, if he said anything, remains in the secret papers of the Buffalo Police Department and the Auburn prison. If we are to judge inferentially, considering his absolutely indifferent behavior...
113 페이지 - ... for the parts their several countries have taken in being represented in this centennial anniversary of the greatest step in the movement which transformed the American Republic from a small confederacy of States lying along the Atlantic seaboard into a continental nation. " This Exposition is one primarily intended to show the progress in the industry, the science, and the art, not only of the American nation, but of all other nations, in the great and wonderful century which has just closed....
89 페이지 - Spalding's Official Athletic Almanac for 1905: Special Olympic Number, Containing the Official Report of the Olympic Games of 1904 (New York, 1905), constitutes the "official
118 페이지 - Just as one of the balloons was being set free, the huge crowd was thunderstruck to see a woman, a camera slung over her shoulder, grip the top of a basket and pull herself aboard. The balloon was off, and with it, the intrepid woman photographer.
74 페이지 - Nothing in ancient history had made me more of a dreamer than Olympia. This city of dream . . . raised its colonnades and porticos unceasingly before my adolescent mind. Long before I thought of drawing from its ruins a principle of revival, I would rebuild it in my mind, to make the shape of its silhouette live again. Germany had exhumed its remains. Why should France not succeed in renewing its splendors? From there it was not far to the less dazzling but more practical and more fruitful project...
117 페이지 - I followed his carriage all day running across lots to get ahead of him and make a new picture at every stop. When the day was over and he stopped at the Philippine Village, I was there again to take a last picture. I heard him ask his Secretary, 'Good Lord, Loeb, where in the world does that woman get all her plates?

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George R. Matthews, writer and sports historian, is Director of Athletics at Sage Ridge School in Reno, Nevada. He has published articles in the Journal of Sports History and the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and is the author of A Complete Guide to the Wabash Trace Nature Trail and St. Louis Olympics 1904, a collection of photographs.

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