fbpx
Favorites

© 2022 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Favorites

Paris hosts 1900 Olympics, even though many didn’t know it

1900 Paris Games Olympics - AP Photo/Uncredited

EDITORS — With the Tokyo Olympics postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Associated Press is looking back at the history of Summer Games. Here are some of the highlights of the 1900 Olympics in Paris.

No opening ceremony. No closing ceremony. And many of the athletes at the 1900 Paris Games had no idea they even competed at the Olympics.

Still, the second edition of the Olympics had something the first didn’t: female athletes.

Charlotte Cooper of Britain is believed to be the first female champion, winning the tennis tournament at Cercle de Puteaux in western Paris — on the other side of the Bois de Boulogne from present-day Roland Garros. She defeated Helene Prevost of France 6-4, 6-2 to win the title.

Cooper’s victory wasn’t exactly a surprise, even though the Olympic tournament was played on clay. She was already a three-time Wimbledon champion on grass and played in eight straight finals at the oldest of the Grand Slam tournaments. She went on to win two more titles at the All England Club over the next eight years.

And according to the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Cooper won her Olympic title despite being completely deaf.

“In a sport where the sound of a ball coming off the strings (is) such an integral part of playing, Cooper captured all but one of her (Wimbledon) titles without the benefit of sound, paramount in recognizing the pace of an opponent shot,” the Hall of Fame says on its website.

The Paris Games began on May 14 and finally ended on Oct. 28. They were held as part of the Paris World’s Fair — a decision that cost Pierre de Coubertin, a French baron and the father of the Modern Olympics, much of the control of the games, according to Olympic historian David Wallechinsky.

The overlap and affiliation with the World’s Fair, also known as the Exposition Universelle, and the extended duration of the games were key factors in diminishing their significance.

“The organizers spread the competitions over five months and under-promoted their Olympic status to such an extent that many athletes never knew they had actually participated in the Olympic Games,” the IOC website says in its section on the 1900 Paris Games.

Only 22 of the 997 athletes at the games were women, but there was still an overall increase of 756 competitors from the inaugural 1896 Athens Games. They competed in 95 events and represented 24 nations — 10 more than the previous games.

AMERICAN STARS

American teammates Ray Ewry and Alvin Kraenzlein were two of the biggest stars of the games. Ewry won three titles in one day, all of them in standing jump events. All three disciplines — the standing high jump, the standing long jump and the standing triple jump — have been discontinued. Kraenzlein won four events in three days: the 60 meters, the 110 hurdles, the 200 hurdles and the long jump. The 60 meters and 200 hurdles have been discontinued, but Kraenzlein remains the only track and field athlete to win four individual events at one Olympics.

IN SEINE

The swimming events were held in the Seine river. That contributed to some fast times because the competitors swam with the current.

BRITISH BROTHERS

Cooper wasn’t the only Wimbledon champion to win in Paris. British brothers Laurie and Reginald Doherty won the doubles title, and Laurie also won the singles tournament. The younger Doherty brother advanced to the final when Reginald withdrew in the semifinals, supposedly because he didn’t regard the Olympic tournament to be important enough. Reginald Doherty had just won his fourth straight Wimbledon tournament before the Olympics started, and Laurie Doherty went on to win five straight titles at the All England Club from 1902-06. Reginald Doherty and Cooper also won the mixed doubles tournament. There was no women’s doubles.

GOLDEN CHILD

The youngest Olympic champion may have competed in the rowing event at the Paris Games, but no one is really sure. A Dutch team in the coxed pairs event chose a young French boy to be their coxswain and then won their race. But the boy disappeared after the victory ceremony and historians have been unable to find out his age.

RIVAL TEAMMATES

Five sports allowed athletes from different countries to compete on the same team — soccer, polo, rowing, tennis and tug of war.

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/OlympicGames and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Get local sports news direct to your inbox

Originals

more
Sam Kennedy is ready for Minnesota baseball

Sam Kennedy is ready for Minnesota baseball

Sam Kennedy is one of the best pitchers in the state of Minnesota and he…

Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina led a young and talented Nazareth Academy team to new heights…

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s dream of playing DI baseball is coming true.

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis has become the face of the Kentucky football program and a potential first-round…

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

The top-ranked softball player in the state of New York and recent Gatorade Player of…

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard has one stop at the 2022 NHL Draft before he heads to Duluth…

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee has become a role model in his hometown of San Luis Obispo. With…

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning announced on Twitter that he will be continuing his football career at the…

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee's journey from Hamburg to becoming an Alabama baseball commit heavily involved Vanderbilt, an…

Dakota Jordan ‘ready to work’ for Mississippi State baseball

Dakota Jordan ‘ready to work’ for Mississippi State baseball

Mississippi State baseball recruit Dakota Jordan is ready to electrify in Starkville.