George Orton was Canada's first Olympic medallist and Olympic champion, although this wasn't immediately recognized. National teams did not exist in 1900, and Orton ran for an American university (Penn) and was therefore assumed to be American. While also a soccer and ice hockey player, his greatest strength was distance running, and between 1893 and 1901 he won a plethora of American AAU titles in the mile, the steeple chase, the cross country and the 10 mile road race, in addition to British and Canadian championships. At the 1900 Games, he even finished third in a hurdles event, in addition to his title in the 2500 m steeplechase. He might have won the 4000 m steeple too, had it not been for an intestinal virus. After his athletic career, Orton kept involved in sports at Penn and in Philadelphia in general. Among others, he worked as the university's track coach, co-wrote History of Athletics at Pennsylvania and was director of the municipal stadium.
Personal Best: 400H – 58.9e (1900).
Athlete Olympic Results Content