3-Way Medal Ties

How rare is that 3-way tie for silver medals in the men’s 100 fly tonite? Not all that rare. There have been 21 previous cases at the Olympics where there have been 3 (or more) tied for a medal. It has happened twice for gold medals, in the men’s pommel horse in 1948 and 1988; 8 previous times for silver medals – 5 at the Summer Olympics and 3 at the Winter; and 11 times for bronze medals, most recently at the 2012 men’s athletics high jump, and including once at the Winter Games. There was one 4-way tie, in the 1984 men’s gymnastics horse vault. Here are all the examples of this.

Year Season Sport Class Event G S B TM
1948 Summer Gymnastics Men Pommelled Horse 3 0 0 3
1988 Summer Gymnastics Men Pommelled Horse 3 0 0 3
1906 Summer Athletics Men Standing High Jump 1 3 0 4
1908 Summer Athletics Men High Jump 1 3 0 4
1956 Summer Gymnastics Men Floor Exercise 1 3 0 4
1964 Summer Gymnastics Men Individual All-Around 1 3 0 4
1984 Summer Gymnastics Men Horse Vault 1 4 0 5
2016 Summer Swimming Men 100 butterfly 1 3 0 4
1906 Summer Weightlifting Men Unlimited Two Hands 1 1 3 5
1908 Summer Athletics Men Pole Vault 2 0 3 5
1912 Summer Athletics Men Pole Vault 1 2 3 6
1948 Summer Gymnastics Men Horse Vault 1 1 3 5
1980 Summer Gymnastics Women Uneven Bars 1 1 3 5
1992 Summer Athletics Men High Jump 1 1 3 5
1992 Summer Gymnastics Men Parallel Bars 1 1 3 5
1992 Summer Gymnastics Women Floor Exercise 1 1 3 5
1996 Summer Gymnastics Men Horizontal Bar 1 1 3 5
2012 Summer Athletics Men High Jump 1 1 3 5
1948 Winter Speedskating Men 500 metres 1 3 0 4
1964 Winter Speedskating Men 500 metres 1 3 0 4
1968 Winter Speedskating Women 500 metres 1 3 0 4
1928 Winter Speedskating Men 500 metres 2 0 3 5

The Katie Ledecky Stat Line

Here is what Katie Ledecky has accomplished with her performance to date in Rio

  • Moves to =3rd among USA female swimmers with 4 Olympic gold medals, trailing Jenny Thompson (8), Amy Van Dyken (6), and tieing Janet Evans, Dara Torres, Missy Franklin, and Dana Vollmer.
  • Moves to =4th among @TeamUSA Olympians, any sport, with 4 Olympic gold medals, trailing Thompson and Van Dyken, as above, and tied with 12 other USA women.
  • Moves to =3rd among @TeamUSA Olympians, any sport, with 3 Olympic golds at one Olympics, trailing only swimmers Missy Franklin (2012) and Amy Van Dyken (1996), with 4 each, and tied with 22 other USA women, including 17 swimmers.
  • Moves to =7th among all female Olympians (any sport) with the most individual gold medals with 4. The record is 7 by Věra Čáslavská (TCH) in gymnastics, with Larysa Latynina (URS-GYM) and Lidiya Skoblikova (URS-SSK) having won 6 individual golds.
  • Ties Debbie Meyer (1968) and Janet Evans (1988) among US female swimmers with 3 individual gold medals at a single Olympic Games.
  • Ties Janet Evans (SWI) and Pat McCormick (DIV) among summer female US Olympians (any sport) with 4 individual gold medals. Among @TeamUSA Olympians, Ledecky trails only Bonnie Blair, who won 5 individual gold medals in speed skating at the Winter Olympics.
  • Moves to =2nd among all Olympic female swimmers with 4 individual gold medals, trailing only Hungarian Krisztina Egerszegi, who has won 5. Four females have won 4 individual Olympic swimming golds – Janet Evans (USA), Kristin Otto (GDR), Inge de Bruijn (NED), and Yana Klochkova (UKR).

Kim Rhode – Her 6th Olympic Medal

  • Kim Rhode wins her 6th medal, the most ever by a woman in Olympic shooting. Rhode was previously tied with 5 medals with three other women – Jasna Šekarić (IOA/SCG/SRB/YUG); Marina Dobrancheva-Logvinenko (EUN/RUS/URS); and Mariya Grozdeva (BUL).
  • She equals the Olympic “modern” shooting record with 6 medals, currently held by Chinese male shooter Wang Yifu, who won 6 medals in 1984-2004. “Modern” record is of some importance. Most of the Olympic records for medals won in shooting are still held by shooters from 1908-24, because in those years there were multiple events, including team events. After shooting was excluded from the Olympics in 1928, it returned in 1932 with a drastically reduced program. The overall Olympic shooting record is 11 medals by Carl Osburn (USA), who competed in 1912/1920/1924.
  • Rhode moves to =7th among all female Olympians with 6 individual medals. All of Rhode’s medals have been won in individual events.
  • She ties Jackie Joyner-Kersee (ATH) for the most individual Olympic medals among @TeamUSA Olympians, with 6. Rhode’s 5 individual medals was previously tied with 5 other @TeamUSA Olympians – Shirley Babashoff (SWI), Janet Evans (SWI), Shannon Miller (GYM), Amanda Beard (SWI), and Natalie Coughlin (SWI).
  • She wins a medal in her 6th Olympic Games, which ties the mark for female Olympians (any sport), currently held by Birgit Fischer-Schmidt (GDR/GER-CAN), Anky van Grunsven (NED-EQU), and Elisabeta Oleniuc-Lipă (ROU-ROW).
  • Rhode ties the female record for most years between individual Olympic medals with 20, held by Merlene Ottey (JAM-ATH; 1980-2000) and Nino Salukvadze (URS/GEO-SHO, 1988-2008) (who will compete in Rio). Rhode previously stood =3rd on this list with 7 other women.
  • Rhode becomes the 2nd oldest American female shooting medalist, trailing only Ruby Fox, who was aged 38-353 when she won a silver medal in sport pistol in 1984. Rhode will turn 37 about 3 weeks before the Rio Olympics start.

Canada’s Penny Oleksiak – One Had to be Looney to Know About this Penny

If you had asked me one week ago who or what Penny Oleksiak was, I would have said an inexpensive vegetable oil. But all Olympic fans and swimming fans should know her now. The 16-year-old Canadian swimmer has come from Cathal Dennehy’s virtual “Depths of Hell” to win 4 medals at the Rio Olympics, through Thursday, 11 August. Last night Oleksiak tied Simone Manuel for first place in the women’s 100 freestyle, adding that gold to her silver in the 100 fly and bronzes in the two freestyle relays. Four medals at her first Olympics, and she turned 16 less than 2 months ago.

  • First Canadian to win 4 medals at a single Summer Olympics. Only Cindy Klassen (5) has more at the Winter Olympics.
  • Her gold was Canada’s first in swimming since Mark Tewksbury in 1992 in the 100 backstroke
  • It was only Canada’s second swimming gold by a woman, after Anne Ottenbrite in the 1984 200 breaststroke
  • Oleksiak was the first individual Olympic gold medalist to have been born in the 21st century
  • Oleksiak becomes the 22nd youngest woman to win an individual Olympic gold medal
  • At 16-059, she is Canada’s youngest ever gold medalist, surpassing George Genereaux, who won the 1952 trap shooting gold at 17-148.
  • She is the 6th youngest Canadian Olympic medalist, after 5 other Canadian female swimmers: Robin Corsiglia (13-341; 1976), Shannon Smith (14-296; 1976), Nancy Garapick (14-301; 1976), Allison Higson (15-195; 1988), and Angela Coughlan (16-022; 1968)
  • She is the 3rd youngest Canadian individual Olympic medalist, after Nancy Garapick and Shannon Smith (see above)
  • Oleksiak became the first Canadian to ever win medals on the first two days medals were awarded at an Olympic Games
  • Oleksiak has won a complete set of medals in Rio (gold-silver-bronze), which has only been done by a Canadian at one Games by Anne Ottenbrite in 1984.

And Canada thought they got rid of the penny!

(With thanks to Canadian OC stat mavens Mike Christie, Paula Nichols, and Michele Walker – I stole the last line from Michele)


Phelps – More on Michael of Baltimore

The new things Michael Phelps pulled off last nite in Rio:

  • First person to win 4 gold medals at 4 Olympic Games – 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016. Phelps was the only person to have done this 3 times. Nobody else has ever done it more than once.
  • Won the 200 IM for the 4th consecutive time. Only 3 other Olympians have won the same individual event 4 consecutive times – Paul Elvstrøm (DEN-SAI) in one-person dinghy sailing from 1948-60; Al Oerter (USA-ATH) in athletics discus throw from 1956-60; and Carl Lewis (USA-ATH) in athletics long jump from 1984-96). If you include the 1906 Olympics, this list also includes Ray Ewry (USA-ATH), who did it twice, in the standing high jump and standing long jump from 1900-08.
  • Now has 22 Olympic gold medals and 26 medals. If he was an NOC, Phelps would stand 39th on the list of most gold medals won, and 57th on the list of most medals won.
  • Only 23 NOCs have won as many gold medals at 4 consecutive Olympic Games as Phelps has.
  • With 13 individual gold medals, Michael of Baltimore has broken the record held by Leonidas of Rhodes, who won 12 titles at the Ancient Olympics from 164-152 BCE, however …
  • Some shadows have been cast on Leonidas’ records. Apparently the IOC has started to re-test the doping samples from 152 BC, and there is a rumor that Leonidas’ A Sample was positive. He is appealing this to the Αθλητικό Διαιτητικό Δικαστήριο.  More on this important story to come.

A Tale of Two Simones

Simone Biles won the gymnastics all-around gold medal for the USA yesterday and Simone Manuel won a 100 metre freestyle gold medal for the USA yesterday. This was the 21st time in Olympic history that two people from the same country, with the same first names, won gold medals in individual events on the same day.  This is the 6th time it has been done by USA athletes. Here are the previous times it has happened. (With thanx to Michele Walker for bringing up this thought)

Name Gdr NOC Year Spt Event Date
Aleksandr Ivanitsky M URS 1964 WRE Heavy FS 14 Oct 1964
Aleksandr Medved M URS 1964 WRE Sub-Heavy FS 14 Oct 1964
Aleksandr Popov M RUS 1996 SWI 100 m free 22 Jul 1996
Aleksandr Karelin M RUS 1996 WRE Heavy GR 22 Jul 1996
Aleksandr Dityatin M URS 1980 GYM Rings 25 Jul 1980
Aleksandr Tkachov M URS 1980 GYM Parallel Bars 25 Jul 1980
Bill Smith M USA 1948 SWI 400 m free 4 Aug 1948
Bill Porter M USA 1948 ATH 110 m hurdles 4 Aug 1948
Georgi Kostadinov M BUL 1972 BOX Supra-Light 10 Sep 1972
Georgi Markov M BUL 1972 WRE Light-Middle GR 10 Sep 1972
Harry Mallin M GBR 1924 BOX Supra-Middle 20 Jul 1924
Harry Mitchell M GBR 1924 BOX Sub-Heavy 20 Jul 1924
Ioannis Frangoudis M GRE 1896 SHO Pistol 11 Apr 1896
Ioannis Malokinis M GRE 1896 SWI 100m free for sailors 11 Apr 1896
Ioannis Georgiadis M GRE 1896 FEN Sabre Individual 9 Apr 1896
Ioannis Mitropoulos M GRE 1896 GYM Rings 9 Apr 1896
Krisztián Pars M HUN 2012 ATH Hammer Throw 5 Aug 2012
Krisztián Berki M HUN 2012 GYM Pommelled Horse 5 Aug 2012
Mark Breland M USA 1984 BOX Middle 11 Aug 1984
Mark Schultz M USA 1984 WRE Supra-Middle FS 11 Aug 1984
Olga Kuzenkova F RUS 2004 ATH Hammer Throw 25 Aug 2004
Olga Slyusareva F RUS 2004 CYC Points Race 25 Aug 2004
Ralph Craig M USA 1912 ATH 200 m 11 Jul 1912
Ralph Rose M USA 1912 ATH Shot Put 2-Hands 11 Jul 1912
Shinji Morisue M JPN 1984 GYM Horizontal Bar 4 Aug 1984
Shinji Hosokawa M JPN 1984 JUD Light 4 Aug 1984
Steve Hegg M USA 1984 CYC Individual Pursuit 1 Aug 1984
Steve Fraser M USA 1984 WRE Middle-Heavy GR 1 Aug 1984
Svetlana Khorkina F RUS 1996 GYM Uneven Bars 29 Jul 1996
Svetlana Masterkova F RUS 1996 ATH 800 m 29 Jul 1996
Tom Burke M USA 1896 ATH 100 m 10 Apr 1896
Tom Curtis M USA 1896 ATH 110 m hurdles 10 Apr 1896
Valery Shary M URS 1976 WLT Supra-Middle 24 Jul 1976
Valery Rezantsev M URS 1976 WRE Middle-Heavy GR 24 Jul 1976
Viktor Kapitonov M URS 1960 CYC Road Race Individual 30 Aug 1960
Viktor Zhdanovich M URS 1960 FEN Foil Individual 30 Aug 1960
Viktor Shamburkin M URS 1960 SHO Small-Bore Rifle 3 Pos 8 Sep 1960
Viktor Bushuyev M URS 1960 WLT Sub-Middle 8 Sep 1960
Viktor Tsybulenko M URS 1960 ATH Javelin Throw 8 Sep 1960
Vladimir Engibaryan M URS 1956 BOX Sub-Middle 1 Dec 1956
Vladimir Safronov M URS 1956 BOX Sub-Light-Middle 1 Dec 1956

Note that it has never happened in the Winter Olympics – far fewer events to choose from there. Also note the 8 September 1960 occurrence, when Viktor Shamburkin, Viktor Bushuyev, and Viktor Tsybulenko all won golds for the former Soviet Union on the same day – the only time 3 different athletes with the same name pulled this off on the same day.

And you guys thought I slept at night!

USOC Stuff for Thursday, 11 August 2016

After Day 6 of the Olympics (Day 1 = day of Opening Ceremony), @TeamUSA is pretty much on a par with its performance at the previous 6 Olympic Games. After Wednesday, 10 August, the USA has 11 golds, 11 silver, 10 bronzes, and 32 medals. Here is what @TeamUSA has done since 1992.

Year DayOly Date Rank G S B TM
1992 6 30 July 1992 2 11 11 10 32
1996 6 24 July 1996 1 10 13 4 27
2000 6 20 September 2000 1 11 6 6 23
2004 6 18 August 2004 1 10 11 9 30
2008 6 13 August 2008 1 10 8 12 30
2012 6 1 August 2012 2 12 8 9 29

Tonite Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte swim in the 200 IM finals. Both can set all sorts of Olympic bests.

  • If Michael of Baltimore wins, it is his 13th individual Olympic title, breaking the tie with Leonidas of Rhodes, who won 12 individual titles in the stadion, diaulos, and hoplite races at the 164, 160, 156, and 152 BC Ancient Olympic Games.
  • If the Phelps OC wins, this gives him 22 Olympic gold medals, moving him ahead of Czechia and Ethiopia, and to 39th place among all NOCs. His 26 Olympic medals would also rank him 58th among NOCs in terms of medals won.

If Ryan Lochte wins gold tonite, he moves up on all sorts of Olympic lists, as follows:

  • His 7th gold medal would move him to =13th among all male Olympians; =7th among all @TeamUSA Olympians; =6th among all @TeamUSA male Olympians.
  • His 7th gold medal in swimming would move him to 4th among male Olympic swimmers, trailing Michael Phelps (21 – as of yesterday), Mark Spitz (9), and Matt Biondi (8) (he is actually 4th on this list with 6 golds). He would thus also be 4th among US male Olympic swimmers. He would also move to 5th among Olympic swimmers, trailing Phelps, Spitz, Biondi, and Jenny Thompson (8). He would thus also be 5th among US Olympic swimmers.
  • If Lochte wins, he becomes the oldest individual gold medalist in swimming, previously (before Rio) held by Inge de Bruijn (NED-2004), who was 30-363 in the 50 free; but the mark was broken by Phelps gold medal in the 200 butterfly, when he was 31-040. Lochte will be 32-008 tonite.
  • Lochte would move to 3rd on the oldest gold medalist list in swimming, trailing only 2 @TeamUSA swimmers – Dara Torres, who was 33-162 in the 2000 medley relay; and Jason Lezak, who was 32-279 in the 2008 medley relay. Lochte will turn 32 two days before the Rio Opening Ceremony.

Katie Ledecky and the Pursuit of Olympic Medals

By winning her 3rd gold medal of the Rio Olympics tonite in the 4×200 metre freestyle relay, Katie Ledecky has now won 4 Olympic golds, including the 2012 800 free. Here is where she places on various Olympic lists:

  • Ledecky moves to =3rd among USA female swimmers with 4 Olympic gold medals, trailing Jenny Thompson (8), Amy Van Dyken (6), and tieing Janet Evans, Dara Torres, Missy Franklin, and Dana Vollmer.
  • Ledecky becomes =4th among @TeamUSA Olympians, any sport, with 4 Olympic gold medals, trailing Thompson and Van Dyken, as above, and tied with 12 other USA women.
  • She is now =3rd among @TeamUSA Olympians, any sport, with 3 Olympic golds at one Olympics, trailing only swimmers Missy Franklin (2012) and Amy Van Dyken (1996), with 4 each, and tied with 22 other USA women, including 17 swimmers.
  • Among American females in any Olympic sport, her 3 gold medals at one Olympics trails only Missy Franklin (2012) and Amy Van Dyken (1996), both with 3, and is tied with 22 other @TeamUSA athletes.

More to come with the 800 freestyle still coming up.

@TeamUSA and the 1,000th Gold Medal

At some time during the Rio Olympic Games, the United States will win its 1,000th Summer Olympic gold medal. Going into Rio, @TeamUSA has won 977 gold medals. This does not include the 1906 Intercalated Olympic Games (12 gold medals), nor the Arts Competitions held from 1912-49 (4 gold medals). As of this morning and Kristin Armstrong’s cycling time trial goal, we are at 987. Here is some perspective on the @TeamUSA and our gold medals through Olympic history.

Looking at how quickly the USA has won golds during the last 5-6 Olympics, this will most likely occur either on Sunday, 14 August, or Monday, 15 August. We don’t know who will win this gold medal yet. Here are the possibilities for those days in the approximate start orders, if there are no schedule delays, although because each event takes different times to complete, it is difficult to say when they will finish.

14 August

  • Men’s Golf
  • Women’s Athletics (Track & Field) Marathon
  • Men’s Singles Tennis
  • Men’s Doubles Tennis
  • Women’s Doubles Tennis
  • Mixed Doubles Tennis
  • Men’s Small-Bore Rifle Shooting
  • Men’s RS:X Sailing
  • Women’s RS:X Sailing
  • Men’s Gymnastics Floor Exercise
  • Men’s Gymnastics Pommel Horse
  • Women’s Gymnastics Vault
  • Women’s Gymnastics Uneven Bars
  • Men’s Boxing Light-flyweight
  • Women’s Springboard Diving
  • Men’s Greco-Roman Wrestling 59 kg
  • Men’s Greco-Roman Wrestling 75 kg
  • Men’s Cycling Sprint
  • Men’s Fencing Team Épée
  • Women’s +75 kg Weightlifting
  • Women’s Athletics (Track & Field) Triple Jump
  • Men’s Athletics (Track & Field) 400 metres
  • Men’s Athletics (Track & Field) 100 metres

15 August

  • Women’s 10 km Open-Water Swimming
  • Mixed Equestrian Individual Dressage
  • Women’s Athletics (Track & Field) Hammer Throw
  • Women’s 3,000 metre Steeplechase
  • Women’s Laser Radial Sailing
  • Men’s Laser Sailing
  • Men’s Gymnastics Rings
  • Men’s Gymnastics Vault
  • Women’s Gymnastics Balance Beam
  • Men’s Cycling Omnium
  • Men’s Greco-Roman Wrestling 85 kg
  • Men’s Greco-Roman Wrestling 130 kg
  • Men’s 105 kg Weightlifting
  • Men’s Heavyweight (91 kg) Boxing
  • Men’s Athletics (Track & Field) Pole Vault
  • Men’s Athletics (Track & Field) 800 metres
  • Women’s Athletics (Track & Field) 400 metres

Next Best Nations

  • Soviet Union      473
  • Germany              288
  • Great Britain     246
  • France                   234
  • Italy                        236
  • China                     213

Other than the Soviets, no longer extant, the next 4 best NOCs have 1,004 gold medals through 2012 (USA had 977)

At current rates of winning gold medals (since 2000), the next time any nation will reach 1,000 Summer Olympic Gold medals is as follows:

  • China              21 Olympics             2100        1,850 USA
  • Germany      47 Olympics             2204        2,850 USA

The numbers in the right-hand column give the estimated number of golds the USA will have by those dates, if @TeamUSA continues to produce as they have at the last 7 Summer Olympics.

@TeamUSA Best to Date

Most Gold Medals (thru 2012)

22              Michael Phelps                    SWI       (and counting)

Most Gold Medals, Men (thru 2012)

22              Michael Phelps                    SWI       (and counting)

Most Gold Medals, Women (thru 2012)

8                 Jenny Thompson                SWI

Youngest Gold Medalist

13-268     Marjorie Gestring   DIV     1936   *18 Nov 1922  Springboard

Youngest Gold Medalist, Men

15-324     Michael Schoettle  SAI     1952   *7 Sep 1936    5.5 metres

Youngest Gold Medalist, Women

13-268     Marjorie Gestring   DIV     1936   *18 Nov 1922  Springboard

Oldest Gold Medalist

64-099     Charles Jacobus   ROQ   1904   *1 May 1840    Singles

Oldest Gold Medalist, Men

64-099     Charles Jacobus   ROQ   1904   *1 May 1840    Singles

Oldest Gold Medalist, Women

63-332     Eliza Pollock           ARC   1904   *24 Oct 1840   Team

The Previous Milestones


James B. Connolly – 1896 Athletics Triple Jump – 6 April 1896

For purely historical reasons, James Connolly must be considered the most distinguished of all United States Olympians because, on 6 April 1896, he became the first winner at the Modern Olympic Games and the first known Olympic champion in over 1,500 years. In addition to his triple jump crown, Connolly won medals in the high jump and long jump. One can safely assume that this victory adequately compensated Connolly for the decision he had made at Boston some two months earlier. Connolly’s dean at Harvard had counselled him not to make the trip to Athens because his low academic standing might prejudice his being readmitted to the university upon his return. Connolly, however, entertained no doubts as to his priorities and walked out of Harvard, not setting foot there until 50 years later when, as a well-known writer of Gloucester fishing stories, he was invited to speak on literature before the Harvard Union.

In 1898, Connolly was with the 9th Massachusetts Infantry at the Siege of Santiago, but in 1900 he again sought Olympic honors. He improved on his 1896 winning mark, but had to settle for second place behind Meyer Prinstein. Connolly missed the 1904 Olympics but competed in 1906, failing to make a valid jump in either the long or triple jump. Connolly later served in the Navy and in 1912 he ran for Congress as a Progressive, although he was defeated. Connolly covered Pershing’s “punitive expedition” into Mexico for Colliers and in 1917 became European naval correspondent for the magazine. He remained a writer for the rest of his life.


Bill Hoyt – 1896 Athletics Pole Vault – 10 April 1896

The first Olympic pole vault competition only drew an entry of five competitors and after the early elimination of the three Greek entrants, it became a two-man contest between Bill Hoyt of Harvard and Albert Tyler of Princeton. Tyler had the early edge, clearing 10-0 (3.05) on his first attempt, while Hoyt had two misses at that height. But when the bar was set at 10-10 (3.30) only Hoyt was successful, which won him the gold medal. Hoyt’s Olympic victory was the only truly major success of his career. At home, he had placed second in the IC4A pole vault in 1895 and 1897, and he tied for first place in 1898 with Raymond Clapp of Yale.

After graduating Harvard in 1897, Hoyt entered their medical school, from which he graduated in 1901. Initially he practiced as a doctor in Chicago and was later commissioned into the 1st Illinois Field Hospital Company and served in France in 1918. After the war he tried to resume his Chicago practice, but soon returned to France as a surgeon with the foreign service of the U.S. Public Health Service, and he served overseas for many years. He finally settled in the small town of Berlin, New York, where he continued to practice medicine.


Tom Hicks – 1904 Athletics Marathon – 30 August 1904

The first two men to finish in the 1904 Olympic marathon were the English-born Tom Hicks and the French-born Albert Coray. Although they had a European birthplace in common, their occupations could hardly have been more divergent – Hicks was a clown by profession and Coray earned his living as a professional strike-breaker. Tom Hicks had been around the American distance running scene for some years, having finished sixth in Boston in 1900, improving to fifth in 1901 and placing second in 1904. This experience was to stand him in good stead, considering the extreme conditions in which the 1904 Olympic marathon was run.

The course was hilly, the temperature was 90° F, there were no watering stations apart from a well at the halfway mark, and the automobiles following the race churned up a great deal of dust. Only the fact that Hicks had been sustained by doses of brandy, egg white, and strychnine during the latter stages of the race enabled him to finish. But his dreams of being champion were shattered when he arrived at Francis Field only to see Fred Lorz being photographed, as the victor, with Alice Roosevelt, the daughter of the President Teddy Roosevelt. It later transpired that Lorz had covered much of the course in an automobile and then claimed that his Olympic “victory” was only a practical joke. The AAU did not share his sense of humor and they immediately banned him (he was later reinstated and won the 1905 Boston Marathon). No more was heard of Hicks as after his ordeal, both physical and mental, he retired on the spot.


We can’t tell you exactly who was the 100th USA gold medalist. On 28 October 1904 USA gymnasts won 10 gold medals, and the times are not recorded so we don’t know exactly who won the 100th. It was one of three USA gymnasts – Anton Heida, Ed Hennig, or George Eyser, the gymnast with the wooden leg. His story is the most interesting.

George Eyser was a member of the Concordia Turnverein in 1904 and is probably one of the most amazing stories to emerge from any Olympic Games. In the 12-event All-Around competition he placed 71st individually despite having finished 10th in the nine event all-around. He finished last in the other three events of the triathlon – 100 yard dash, long jump and shot put, pulled down mostly by his 13-foot long jump and 15.4 time for the dash.

Those marks don’t look so bad in another context, for George Eyser competed with a wooden leg. Nothing of the circumstances of the loss of his limb is known. Eyser arrived in America, from Germany, at the age of 14 and settled in Denver, Colorado before moving to St. Louis where he worked as a book-keeper for a construction company. Eyser became a US citizen in 1894. He was a member of the Concordia team which won an international meet in Frankfurt, Germany in 1908, and also won the National Turnfest in Cincinnati in 1909.


Ray Barbuti – 1928 Athletics 400 metres – 3 August 1928

Ray Barbuti won his only AAU title in 1928, when the 400 m final was run in a gale force wind and Barbuti’s rugged strength enabled him to win in a seemingly modest 51.8. He improved that to 47.8 at the Olympics when he was the only American to win an individual track title. He was brought onto the relay team at the last minute and led the U.S. to a new world record of 3:14.2. The following week he (with George Baird, Morgan Taylor, and Bud Spencer) claimed a share in a second world record when the U.S. ran 3:13.4 for the 4×440y in London in the match against the British Empire team.

Barbuti captained both the football and track teams at Syracuse. During his war service he was awarded the Air Medal and the Bronze Star and left the army air corps as a major. He later became deputy director of the Civil Defense Commission for New York State and director of the New York State Office of Disaster Preparedness. After his competitive days were over he was more interested in football than track and he officiated at more than 500 intercollegiate games.


Hayes Jones – 1964 Athletics 110 metre hurdles – 18 October 1964

The 110 metre hurdles final started at 3:50 PM, Tokyo time, on 18 October 1964, with Hayes Jones winning over fellow American Blaine Lindgren. We suspect Jones had no idea he had just won the 500th gold for the USA.

Although at 5-11 (1.80) Hayes Jones seemingly lacked the height for a world-class hurdler, he made up for this apparent handicap with an explosive start and blazing speed on the flat. On the indoor circuit his exceptional starting abilities put him on his way to six AAU titles and he won 55 consecutive indoor races from March 1959 through his retirement in 1964. Jones’ speed on the flat earned him a share in a world 4×100 m relay record (with Frank Budd, Paul Drayton, and the non-Olympian Charles Frazier) in 1961 and over the high hurdles he won the AAU title a record five times. He was also Pan American Games and NCAA champion in 1959. At the 1959 Pan Ams he was also on the gold medal winning 4×100 m relay team. After his retirement Jones served as director of recreation for New York City for two years before returning to private business.

Gold Medals by Sport

Sport Golds Medals
Athletics 321 763
Swimming 231 519
Shooting 53 107
Wrestling 52 130
Boxing 49 111
Diving 48 132
Gymnastics 33 103
Rowing 32 87
Basketball 21 26
Tennis 20 36
Sailing 19 59
Weightlifting 16 45
Archery 14 31
Cycling 14 53
Equestrian Events 11 49
Beach Volleyball 6 9
Canoeing 5 16
Synchronized Swimming 5 9
Football 4 7
Fencing 3 27
Golf 3 10
Softball 3 4
Volleyball 3 8
Rugby Football 2 2
Taekwondo 2 8
Water Polo 2 13
Baseball 1 3
Jeu de Paume 1 1
Judo 1 12
Roque 1 3
Tug-of-War 1 4
Totals 977 2402

Gold Medals by States (Birthplace)

State ###
California 443
New York 259
Illinois 161
Ohio 144
Pennsylvania 138
Texas 119
New Jersey 105
Michigan 84
Florida 73
Georgia 69
Massachusetts 67
Missouri 64
Washington 61
Wisconsin 55
Mississippi 52
Iowa 48
Indiana 47
Virginia 46
Connecticut 40
District of Columbia 39
Kansas 39
Maryland 38
Oregon 38
Minnesota 35
North Carolina 33
Oklahoma 33
Arizona 31
Louisiana 31
Alabama 30
Arkansas 30
Kentucky 30
Hawaiʻi 27
West Virginia 26
Colorado 23
Tennessee 22
South Carolina 20
Nebraska 18
Maine 14
South Dakota 13
Montana 10
Utah 8
New Hampshire 7
Idaho 6
Nevada 6
Rhode Island 6
Alaska 5
Vermont 4
Delaware 3
New Mexico 3
Wyoming 2
Totals 2705

Note that all 50 states have produced gold medalists. Because of team events, there are many more gold medalists than just 1,000. Also note that a number of @TeamUSA Olympians have been born out of the continental United States.

Kristin Armstrong 3-Peat in Cycling Individual Road Time Trial


  • First Olympic cyclist to win the same event 3 times – any event, any nation, male or female, team or individual
  • First female Olympic cyclist to win gold medals at 3 Olympic Games – matches the male record held by Chris Hoy (GBR), Bradley Wiggins (GBR), Jens Fiedler (GDR/GER), and Vyacheslav Yekimov (URS/EUN/RUS)
  • Oldest female Olympic cycling champion – at 42-364 (birthday tomorrow) – breaking her own record of 38-356
  • 2nd oldest Olympic cycling champion – after Juan Esteban Curuchet (ESP) – 2008 Madison at 43-196
  • Oldest @TeamUSA Olympic cycling champion at 42-364
  • 2nd oldest @TeamUSA female individual gold medalist (any sport), after Lida Howell, who was 45-024 (and 45-023) when she won two archery gold medals in 1904
  • 3rd oldest female individual gold medalist (any sport, any nation) after Howell and Sybil Newall, who was 53-275 when she won the 1908 women’s archery gold medal
  • 3 gold medals tied for 2nd among female Olympic cyclists with Félicia Ballenger (FRA) – trails only Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel, who won 4 in 2000-04
  • 3 Olympic cycling medals places Armstrong =5th on the all-time list for female Olympic cyclists
  • Armstrong 2nd @TeamUSA female Olympian, and 1st Summer, to  win same individual event at 3 consecutive Olympics – only other for USA is Bonnie Blair

All the Olympic Stats You'll Ever Need