Olympics and History of the Modern Games France 1924

About the Olympics and the modern games, account of the games in Chamonix and Paris France in 1924.

1st WINTER OLYMPICS, CHAMONIX, FRANCE, 1924

The 1st Winter Olympics proved successful. Thorlief Haug's 3 gold medals in skiing led Norway's overall victory. Finland's speed skater, Clas Thunberg, took 2 gold medals, and Sweden made a strong showing in figure skating.

PARIS, FRANCE, 1924

The U.S. team members sailed off in a good ship this time and were lodged, upon arrival, at a princely estate, Rocquecourt. They were heroes of a neighboring village after helping put out a local fire.

The Finns again challenged the U.S. in track and field, winning 10 gold medals to the Americans' 12. Paavo Nurmi, with 4 victories, was the star, pursued this time by a countryman, Ville "Willie" Ritola, who ran 7 races in 7 days, winning 2 gold medals and being 2nd to Nurmi 3 times. On July 10, Nurmi won the 1,500-and 5,000-m. events with little more than an hour of rest between races. Albin Stenroos, 40, onetime wrestler, won the marathon.

The Americans were dominant in swimming as Johnny Weissmuller won at 400-m., anchored a winning 800-m. relay team, and defeated Kahanamoku, 2-time champ in the 100-m. freestyle. The Yale crew won 8-oar rowing with Benjamin Spock (later a renowned baby doctor and war protestor) in the 7th seat.

Tennis, a regular Olympic event since 1896, had its last stand. To amateur tennis champions, Wimbledon and Forest Hills meant much more than the Olympics. Bill Tilden, the sport's great star of the '20s, never competed in the Olympics. Ironically, the 1924 games attracted 2 of the best: Helen Wills and Vincent Richards. The U.S. swept all 5 titles.

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