100 years of the Decathlon – IAAF Centenary

100 years of the Decathlon – IAAF Centenary

Monaco – July 13, 2012: In the morning of 13 July 1912 twenty-nine athletes stood at the start of a new discipline at the Olympic Games in Stockholm. It is exactly 100 years ago today that the first Decathlon in its current composition was held in an official meeting. Because of the large number of entries, six Americans and nine Swedes were amongst them, the Decathlon competition was spread over three days, but only a dozen would complete all 10 events.

Twenty thousand spectators in the stadium witnessed a historic competition, not because the new event was held for the first time at the Olympic Games, but moreover the presence of the Sac and Fox Indian, Jim Thorpe. His supremacy in the new event was so overwhelming that at the end of the competition the gap with the second best athlete, Hugo Wieslander from Sweden was almost 700 points. The total score of 8412.955 points (6564 with the 1985 scoring table) would not be surpassed for 14 years.

The final events of the Decathlon were held on the last day of the fifth Olympiad in the presence of the Swedish King Gustav V. When Thorpe appeared later that day in front of the monarch to receive the awards for his victories in the Decathlon and the Pentathlon the King spoke the historic words to Jim Thorpe: “Sir, you are the greatest athlete in the world.”

Click here to read the full story which celebrates the history of the Decathlon event which turns 100 today – http://www.iaaf.org/Mini/Centenary/News/NewsDetail.aspx?id=65568

Look out for news about the year of the IAAF Centenary in the dedicated section of the IAAF website – http://www.iaaf.org/mini/centenary/index.aspx —– IAAF

Look out for news about the year of the IAAF Centenary in the dedicated section of the IAAF website – http://www.iaaf.org/mini/centenary/index.aspx —– IAAF

Look out for news about the year of the IAAF Centenary in the dedicated section of the IAAF website – http://www.iaaf.org/mini/centenary/index.aspx —– IAAF

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