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History of the Olympics

1904 - St. Louis, United States

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The 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, United States

Unfortunately, St. Louis was hosting the Louisiana Purchase Exhibition (a large fair celebrating the 100th anniversary celebration of the Louisiana Purchase) at the same time as the Olympic Games. Again, having a city hosting a large fair plus the Games hurt the Olympic Games.

There was an uproar about the marathon. After Fred Lorz (United States) was seized with cramps during the marathon, he was picked up by a car, which after chugging along for a little while, broke down about five miles from the stadium. Feeling much better, Lorz walked into the stadium and, to his surprise, was hailed as the winner of the marathon. Lorz was almost crowned with the olive wreath before the truth was discovered.

A major problem for the 1904 Olympics was that it was held far from Europe. The fact that European participants would have to make a trans-Atlantic voyage plus a long train ride to Missouri to get there, not to mention that many Europeans envisioned St. Louis as small town on the wilderness frontier, made international participation very weak.

Though twelve countries were represented, only a little over 100 of the 681 athletes participating were from outside of the U.S. and most of those were from Canada. No athletes represented England, France, or Sweden.

During the 1904 Olympics, boxing was added as an Olympic sport.

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