ST. LOUIS 1904
Country United States
City St. Louis[a]
Year 1904
Teams 12
Events 95
Athletes 651

About ST. LOUIS 1904 Summer Olympics

The distance to Missouri meant that only eight overseas nations took part. The Games, part of the World Fair, lasted five months. There was even a sack race.

There were some respected runners for the marathon. There was also Felix Carvajal, a Cuban postman who had hitch-hiked from New Orleans after losing his money in a card game, and Lentauw and Yamasani, two Zulus who were part of the Boer War exhibit at the fair.

The start was delayed so Carvajal's long trousers could be cut off at the knees. He eventually finished fourth. Lentauw was chased through a field by two dogs but still finished ninth.

The race, run on dusty roads in the middle of the afternoon, was won by English-born Thomas Hicks from Massachusetts, second in that year's Boston marathon, who was revived with strychnine and brandy.

Fred Lorz from New York caused a stir when he appeared in the stadium. He was about to be presented with the gold medal when it was discovered he had stopped running after nine miles and got a lift. The practical joke backfired when he was banned for life but he was later reinstated and won the 1905 Boston marathon.