James Connolly (triple jumper)

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James Brendan Connolly (* 28. October 1868 in Boston , United States ; † 20th January 1957 in New York ) was an athlete from the United States and in 1896 the first Olympic champion of the modern era .

James B. Connolly


Connolly came from a poor Irish-American family in South Boston, Massachusetts . He graduated from Harvard University . Since the exemption was not granted by the University him to participate in the Games, exmatrikulierte it yourself. 1949, at the age of 83 years, however, he received from his university, the honorary doctorate .

James Connolly won the triple jump competition at the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 with a height of 13.71 m, making him the first ever modern Olympic champion. He also came in second in the high jump and third in the long jump . At the Olympic Games in Paris in 1900 he took second place in the triple jump. He also took part in the interludes in Athens in 1906 .

Gold medals did not yet exist in 1896 (they were only introduced at the 1904 Olympic Games ). All those placed were honored on the final day (in pouring rain), the winners with silver medals and olive branches, the second with bronze medals and olive branches, the third received nothing. Some references speak of copper medals and laurel branches when honoring the runner-up.

In 1909 Connolly survived the collision of the ocean liner RMS Republic with the Italian ship Florida off the island of Nantucket .

He later became a widely read author of seafaring stories under the name James B. Connolly. The Connolly street in Munich's Olympic Village is named after him. Since 1908 he was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters .

Results / placements at the Olympic Games

discipline 1896 1900 1906
high jump 2. - -
Long jump 3. - 27.
Triple jump 1. 2. 18th

(1906 Olympic Intermediate Games in Athens)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Different year of birth November 28, 1865, in: "Das große Olympia Lexikon", Sport-Bild from June 19, 1996, p. 37.
  2. Members: James Brendan Connolly. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed February 23, 2019 .