Olympics History >> Anecdotes >> Anecdotes


Triple tally

At the age of 42 Lucien Gaudin was crowned triple foil (fencing) champion. His teammates celebrated by carrying the Frenchman victoriously on their shoulders.

Canadian hero

Canada's virtualy unknown Percy Williams stunned the athletics world at just 20 by taking gold in the 100m and 200m. He went on to establish a world record of 10.3sec two years later.


Queen Wilhelmine refused to appear at the opening or closing ceremony as she considered the Games to be tantamount to a pagan festival.

Lodging decisions

There was no Olympic village but the IOC provided the competitors with barracks and sleeping bags. Some took up lodgings in schools. The American delegation had another plan - the team stayed on two boats which were docked in the port of Amsterdam itself. This turned out to be a bad decision due to the incessant loading and re-loading of cargo during the night.


The head of the US delgation was Douglas MaCarthur who was later head of American armed forces in the Pacific during World War II.

Triumphant return

Banned from the 1920 and 1924 Games as a result of World War I, Germany made a triumphant return winning 31 medals including 10 gold placing them second in the medals standings behind the United States.

Double fault

Suspicious of professionalism, the IOC decided to take tennis off the Olympic programme. It would not be until 1988 in Seoul that the sport would make its return.

The Uruguayan national soccer team players pose for a group picture, 30 July 1930 in Montevideo, after their victory over Argentina (4-2) in the first-ever World Cup final.


Uruguay who went on to win the first ever World Cup in 1930 became Olympic champions for the second straight time helped by their star Jose Leandro Andrade.


The women's 800m won by Germany's Karoline "Lina" Radke saw several competitors collapse with exhaustion. After much debate the result was that women would not run races over 200m for another 32 years.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.

Moment in Time