May 14

This Day in History

General Interest

May 14, 1904:

First American Olympiad

The Third Olympiad of the modern era, and the first Olympic Games to be held in the United States, opens in St. Louis, Missouri. The 1904 Games were actually initially awarded to Chicago, Illinois, but were later given to St. Louis to be staged in connection with the St. Louis World Exposition. Like the Second Olympiad, held in Paris in 1900, the St. Louis Games were poorly organized and overshadowed by the world's fair.

There were few entrants other than Americans in the various events, and, expectedly, U.S. athletes won a majority of the competitions and the unofficial team championship. In the field events, the Americans made a near-perfect sweep, winning everything but lifting the bar and throwing the 56-pound weight. Twenty years later, the first truly successful Olympic Games were held in Paris, and since then, with increasing popularity, the games have been held in various cities around the globe.

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