By George R. Matthews
America in 1904 was once a state bristling with strength and self assurance. encouraged by means of Theodore Roosevelt, the nation’s younger, lively, and athletic president, a activities mania rampaged around the nation. desirous to rejoice its heritage, and to show its athletic capability, the USA hosted the area on the 1904 Louisiana buy Exposition in St. Louis. One a part of the World’s reasonable used to be the nation’s first Olympic games. Revived in Greece in 1896, the Olympic move was once additionally younger and full of life. actually, the St. Louis Olympics have been basically the 3rd nowa days. even if the video games have been initially presented to Chicago, St. Louis wrestled them from her rival urban opposed to the desires of overseas Olympic Committee President Pierre de Coubertin. Athletes got here from 11 international locations and 4 continents to compete in cutting-edge amenities, which incorporated a ten-thousand-seat stadium with fitness center apparatus donated through wearing items mogul Albert Spalding. The 1904 St. Louis Olympics garnered in simple terms compliment, and all agreed that the video games have been a hit, bettering either the profile of the Olympic circulation and the status of the USA. yet inside many years, the video games of 1904 receded in reminiscence. They suffered a worse destiny with the ebook of Coubertin’s memoirs in 1931. His selective memories, exaggerated claims, and fake statements became the forgotten Olympics into the failed Olympics. This prejudiced account used to be furthered via the 1948 e-book of An licensed background of the Olympic video games by means of invoice Henry, which used to be reviewed and recommended through Coubertin. America’s First Olympics, by means of George R. Matthews, corrects universal misconceptions that started with Coubertin’s memoirs and provides a clean view of the 1904 video games, which featured first-time African American Olympians, an eccentric and arguable marathon, and documentation via pioneering photojournalist Jessie Tarbox Beals. Matthews presents an exceptional evaluate of the St. Louis Olympics over a six-month interval, starting with the intrigue surrounding the move of the video games from Chicago. He additionally supplies designated descriptions of the most important gamers within the Olympic circulate, the occasions that have been held in 1904, and the athletes who competed in them. This unique account may be welcomed by means of heritage and activities fans who're drawn to a brand new viewpoint in this misunderstood event.
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Extra info for America's First Olympics: The St. Louis Games Of 1904 (Sports and American Culture)
But Roosevelt, without a request from American Olympic officials, was unwilling to become an associate of the Olympics. By May of 1902, however, Roosevelt had been persuaded, after meeting with Henry Furber, that his involvement was not only appropriate but also absolutely essential to the success of America’s first Olympics. Furber was planning a tour of Europe to promote international participation in the Chicago games. He realized that his intention to meet with European heads of state would be immeasurably enhanced if he possessed letters of introduction from the president of the United States.
The Olympic games could not have had a more sympathetic patron. After only two months in office, Roosevelt received a letter from Pierre de Coubertin. The Baron asked Roosevelt to accept the honorary presidency of the Chicago Olympic games, implying de- 20 America’s First Olympics ceptively that McKinley had agreed to do so before his death. Roosevelt rebuffed the Baron, responding three weeks after receiving the invitation, “My Dear Sir . . It is a matter of very real regret to me that I do not feel at liberty to accept your very kind request that I become honorary president of the Chicago Olympic Games.
Coubertin did not reply to Furber’s cable. January came and went, and still Coubertin dallied. After the short-lived “athletic annex” idea, Coubertin pondered his options. Chicago’s resolve for the games, once a postponement was rejected, was seriously in question, as was the financial capability of Chicago to assure success. Still, Coubertin had fond memories of his visit to the Windy City. St. Louis, on the other hand, conjured only negative impressions. During his trip to America in 1893 Coubertin had visited several American cities.
America's First Olympics: The St. Louis Games Of 1904 (Sports and American Culture) by George R. Matthews