Unfortunately, the St. Louis Games repeated all of the mistakes of 1900. The various competitions were spread out over four-and-a-half months and became lost in the chaos of a World’s Fair celebrating the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France.
The 1904 Olympic Games were the first at which gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for first, second and third place. Boxing, freestyle wrestling, decathlon and a dumbbells event all made their debuts on the programme.
Thomas Hicks of the U.S. won the marathon after the disqualification of his fellow countryman Fred Lorz, who had covered a large part of the 40 kilometres in a car, getting out just before the finish!
Archie Hahn, known as the Milwaukee Meteor, won the 60m, 100m and 200m. In the 200m, he ran an Olympic record time of 21.6 seconds—a record that would stand for 28 years. One of the most remarkable athletes was the American gymnast George Eyser, who won six medals even though his left leg was made of wood.