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James B. Connolly

Full name: James Brendan Bennet Connolly
Gender: Male
Height: 5'9" (175 cm)
Weight: 159 lbs (72 kg)
Born: October 28, 1868 in South Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: January 20, 1957 in Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
Affiliations: Suffolk AC, South Boston (USA) / Boston Athletic Association, Boston (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze (4 Total)

Biography

For purely historical reasons, James Connolly must be considered the most distinguished of all United States Olympians because, on 6 April 1896, he became the first winner at the Modern Olympic Games and the first known Olympic champion in over 1,500 years. In addition to his triple jump crown, Connolly won medals in the high jump and long jump. One can safely assume that this victory adequately compensated Connolly for the decision he had made at Boston some two months earlier. Connolly's dean at Harvard had counselled him not to make the trip to Athens because his low academic standing might prejudice his being readmitted to the university upon his return. Connolly, however, entertained no doubts as to his priorities and walked out of Harvard, not setting foot there until 50 years later when, as a well-known writer of Gloucester fishing stories, he was invited to speak on literature before the Harvard Union. In 1898, Connolly was with the 9th Massachusetts Infantry at the Siege of Santiago, but in 1900 he again sought Olympic honors. He improved on his 1896 winning mark, but had to settle for second place behind Meyer Prinstein. Connolly missed the 1904 Olympics but competed in 1906, failing to make a valid jump in either the long or triple jump. Connolly later served in the Navy and in 1912 he ran for Congress as a Progressive, although he was defeated. Connolly covered Pershing's "punitive expedition" into Mexico for Colliers and in 1917 he became European naval correspondent for the magazine. He remained a writer for the rest of his life.

Personal Bests: HJ – 5-5 (1.65) (1896); LJ – 20-0½ (6.11) (1896); TJ – 45-10 (13.97) (1900).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1896 Summer 27 Athina Athletics Men's High Jump United States USA 2T Silver
1896 Summer 27 Athina Athletics Men's Long Jump United States USA 3 Bronze
1896 Summer 27 Athina Athletics Men's Triple Jump United States USA 1 Gold OR
1900 Summer 31 Paris Athletics Men's Triple Jump United States USA 2 Silver
1906 Summer 37 Athina Athletics Men's Long Jump United States USA AC NM
1906 Summer 37 Athina Athletics Men's Triple Jump United States USA AC NM

Men's High Jump

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank H
1896 Summer 27 Athina Athletics United States Final Standings 2T 1.65

Men's Long Jump

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank D
1896 Summer 27 Athina Athletics United States Final Standings 3 5.84
1906 Summer 37 Athina Athletics United States Final Standings AC NM
1906 Summer 37 Athina Athletics United States Round One NP foul
1906 Summer 37 Athina Athletics United States Round Two NP foul
1906 Summer 37 Athina Athletics United States Round Three NP foul

Men's Triple Jump