1912 - Stockholm

Last Updated: 20/06/12 2:08pm

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Jim Thorpe: Set world record.

Jim Thorpe: Set world record.

The Swedish hosts introduced the use of unofficial electronic timing devices for the track events, as well as the first use of a public address system.

In this Year...

  • The 'unsinkable' Titanic sinks off Newfoundland after hitting an iceberg en route from Southampton to New York, killing 1,517 people.
  • Captain Robert Scott reaches the South Pole only to find Norwegian Roald Amundsen had already beaten him to it - Scott and his team don't survive the return journey.
  • Albert Berry makes the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.
  • The first world record in the 100 metres for men is recognised by the International Amateur Athletics Federation after American Donald Lippincott (USA) runs 10.6.
  • New Mexico is admitted as the 47th state of the United States of America.
  • The Republic of China (ROC), now commonly known as Taiwan, is established.
  • Baseball's Boston Red Sox open the new Fenway Park stadium with an 11th inning win over the New York Yankees with a crowd of 27,000 watching.

For the first time in Olympic history, athletes from all five continents took part in competition at the Games, and for the last time solid gold medals were handed out to the winners.

The modern pentathlon was added to the Olympic program while women's events in swimming and diving were also introduced, although Sweden would not allow boxing contests to be held in their country.

Endurance appeared to be the theme as the cycling road race was 199 miles (320km) which represented the longest race of any kind in Olympic Games history.

That theme continued as a middleweight semi-final in the Greco-Roman wrestling event between Martin Klein and Alfred Asikainen lasted an amazing 11 hours.

Finland's Hannes Kohlemainen won three gold medals in long-distance running while the USA's Jim Thorpe won the pentathlon and shattered the world record in the decathlon.

Thorpe was later disqualified because he was discovered to have accepted money to play baseball before the Olympics, although the IOC decided to reinstate him in 1982 and his medals were handed back to his daughter.

Francisco Lazaro, a Portuguese long distance runner sadly had a heart attack during the marathon and became the first athlete to die during the Olympics.Olympic Stars:

Native American Jim Thorpe became famous after dominant displays in the pentathlon and the newly-created decathlon events in Stockholm, and then by being stripped of his medals due to accepting a small amount for playing baseball before the Games.

King Gustav V of Sweden described Thorpe as "the greatest athlete in the world" and Burt Lancaster later played him in the film The Bronze Man, and eventually his name was restored and his medal returned to his daughter.

Hannes Kolehmainen was the first of the Flying Finns who went on to dominate long-distance running as he claimed gold in the 5,000m, 10,000m and the individual cross country, as well as silver in the team cross country.

Kolehmainen was a staunch vegetarian who later raced in America for several years and became an American citizen in 1921.

Ewart Horsfall was the youngest member of the men's eight crew aged just 20 when they powered the Great Britain boat to gold in Stockholm, and later silver in Antwerp in 1920.

The Liverpool-born rower was awarded the Military Cross and Distinguished Flying Cross as a squadron leader during World War One, and the year after the Olympics he stroked the Oxford boat that came from behind to beat Cambridge in the boat race.

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