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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2004, 13:08 GMT 14:08 UK
St Louis 1904
St Louis 1904
The World's Fair overshadowed the 1904 Games
Did you know?
American Archie Hahn, the 'Milwaukee Meteor', won the 60m, 100m and 200m
St Louis experienced the same problems in 1904 that Paris had suffered four years earlier - namely being overshadowed by a World's Fair.

The Olympics were awarded to Chicago, but fair organisers in St Louis threatened to organise a rival sporting tournament before the Games were moved.

With competitions spread over four and a half months, public interest was low.

Founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, did not even attend the Games.

And travelling costs saw the number of participants and nations represented decline as many of the events included only Americans.

America duly dominated track and field but Irishman Thomas Kiely won the combined event (later to become known as the decathlon).

The major difference then was that all ten events had to be completed within one day.

US gymnast Anton Heida won five gold and one silver to be the most successful participant, but the overriding feeling in Europe was the Games would struggle to recover from another disappointing showpiece.

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