The 1904 Olympics: Best Forgotten
July 5, 2007 7:04 PM   Subscribe

The 1904 Olympics were held in St. Louis, Missouri and were an utter disaster, but it was "great fun for savages."
posted by Falconetti (20 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Metafilter: Great fun for (adam) savages
posted by DU at 7:12 PM on July 5, 2007

Hairy Anus of Japan

only in America, the true spirit of the Olympics. Now if they would only grease eachother up with olive oil after particularly vigorous feats.
posted by geos at 7:19 PM on July 5, 2007

sometimes a little mayhem and lunacy and "no one knows what the hell is going on here" is exactly what an event needs. Sounds like great fun - a lot more than the overproduced olympics we see today.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:19 PM on July 5, 2007

When did the Olympics stop being really poorly managed?
posted by dismas at 7:22 PM on July 5, 2007

1936. Hitler did a good job with the Olympics that year.
posted by briank at 7:23 PM on July 5, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thanks Falconetti for this. It was an interesting excursion into the human spirit.

I think that, as in the marathon of 1904, confused and angry loose hounds would be amusing participants in many olympic events. Starting with synchronized swimming.
posted by longsleeves at 7:29 PM on July 5, 2007

Maybe they could do some of the more repetitive gymnastics events at the same time, on the same mat.
posted by dismas at 7:30 PM on July 5, 2007

When did the Olympics stop being really poorly managed?

The next time!
posted by longsleeves at 7:30 PM on July 5, 2007

Oops, I meant for the first link to go here.
posted by Falconetti at 7:51 PM on July 5, 2007

"Lentauw lost valuable time when he was run off the course and chased through a cornfield by two large dogs"

Now that's funny!
posted by DieHipsterDie at 7:58 PM on July 5, 2007

I think this article is confusing the games of the third Olympiad with the nascent beginnings of Burning Man.

Or perhaps it was the same thing...
posted by salishsea at 8:14 PM on July 5, 2007

I think the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics were the first that did not lose money. Of course, that was because Ueberroth squeezed the broadcasters and opened the door to everbody and his brother in product licensing.
posted by dhartung at 8:40 PM on July 5, 2007

Doesn't this beg the question?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:48 PM on July 5, 2007

Only a hundred years ago - and it seems so alien and quaint.
posted by gomichild at 9:05 PM on July 5, 2007

This is awesome. I'm from St Louis and growing up I heard all about the World's Fair but not so much about the Olympics. Now I know why. ...the raft that the swimmers used as the starting line sank several times... is so much better then rumors about where in Forest Park the stupid ferris wheel cars are buried.
posted by mexican at 9:20 PM on July 5, 2007

"Hairy Ainus" were pitted against "savage Zulus" and other aboriginals in sporting contests to determine strength and speed.

In contrast, the 2008 Olympics was a much lighter affair, with "Crusty Smegma" making quick work of the native American tribes.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:24 AM on July 6, 2007

Thanks for this post. It's funny, I was just reading up on old-timey Olympics before I saw this post. Among other things, I was surprised to find that tug-of-war was contested through 1920, and that in 1908 "water motorsports" was an officially contested sport. Gotta love those old-time Olympic motorboat races.
posted by bepe at 6:33 AM on July 6, 2007

History House: current issue: 11/27/2005. This makes me very, very sad. I miss it.
posted by absalom at 7:47 AM on July 6, 2007

Runners chased by dogs? Starting rafts which sink, repeatedly? Handlers dosing their runners with strychnine sulfate during the race?

We are being so robbed with modern Olympics. The 1904 ones sounded like they would have actually been fun to watch.
posted by quin at 9:52 AM on July 6, 2007

Those guys would have laughed out loud at our brouhaha over steroids and blood doping. Strychnine and brandy, for crying out loud! I would have run a marathon just to get away from them!
posted by tommasz at 1:11 PM on July 6, 2007

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