St. Louis 1904

The development of sports

As prior mentioned, im 1904 there were an immense number of sports and events similary to Paris, approximately 400, and until today it is not clearly identified which are official Olympic events and which are only demonstration events. The count of offical events in the different (modern) reports and chronicles ranges between almost 90 and close over 100, I keep with Kluge's count of 95. The difficulty exists mainly therein that even in some of these "Olympic" events only Americans have competed, as e.g. in cycling. The Olympic sports are:

  • Athletics with tug-of-war that is still counted to athletics, were the "Olympic Games 1904" and therefore again the highlight for the visitors.
  • In the programme again were weightlifting with two categories.
  • The freestyle wrestling with its seven weight categories and also cycling have been a purely American matter, but are though assessed.
  • First-time performed was boxing with eight weight categories. Just the lowers were sparsely assigned so that someone could participate more than once.
  • Fencing, gymnastics, swimming and rowing remain in the official programme, also the tournament in archery that was firstly allowed for women.
  • The ball sports football, water polo, tennis and golf, the both latter in opposite to 1900 without women, were performed as well.
  • Controvertible is the status of the basketball tournament, since in spite of announcement as Olympic tournament only American clubs have participated.
  • Additionally performed were lacrosse and roque. Latter is an variety of the French croquet, therefor it is a kind of a ball shinnying game; the ball has to be pushed through little goals with the so-called bat, like a hammer.
For further interests the report by Spalding is recommended.