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Johnnie Matthews

Full name: Thomas John "Johnnie" Matthews
Gender: Male
Born: August 16, 1884 in Kensington, Greater London, Great Britain
Died: October 20, 1969 in Ashford, Kent, Great Britain
Affiliations: Marlborough AC / Polytechnic CC
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Cycling

Related Olympians: Brother-in-law of John Barnard.

Medals: 1 Gold (1 Total)

Biography

At the time of the 1908 Olympics, Johnnie Matthews of Marlborough AC and Polytechnic CC and Arthur Rushen of Putney CC were a new and untried tandem pairing and their defeat of the well-tuned German brothers, Max Götze and Bruno Götze, was one of the surprises of the Games. The Olympic final was postponed by one day as the program had fallen far behind schedule and the British pair objected to riding in semi-darkness. Their protest proved to be well justified as, in daylight, they beat the Germans by 20 yards. On their return from Athens, Matthews and Rushen won the NCU tandem title, the only national championship that either of them ever won, and they set a number of British records. The best of these, a time of 49.2 seconds for the half-mile standing start (unpaced) remained on the books for many years. For the 1908 Olympics, Matthews teamed up with the great Leon Meredith and Rushen joined John Barnard, who later married Matthews’ sister, but neither pair reached the Olympic final. The partnership between Matthews and Meredith was not a happy one; they disagreed over tactics at the Olympics and at the world championships in München shortly after the Games, and Meredith left Matthews without a ride when he withdrew from the tandem event in order to concentrate on the 100 km. race. At the last minute, G. F. Summers stood in for Meredith and Matthews and Summers took the world title, although the 1908 tandem event is not always recognized as an official world championship. Summers and Matthews had never ridden together before and were never to do so again. After his retirement from cycling, Johnnie Matthews gave up his work as a carpenter and took over a cyclists’ tea house at Cippenham, near Slough, which became a popular meeting place for London club cyclists. He later became a publican in Kent before finally retiring in 1944.

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Men's Sprint Great Britain GBR 2 h3 r1/4
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Men's 333⅓ metres Time Trial Great Britain GBR 8T
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Men's Tandem Sprint, 2,000 metres Great Britain GBR 1 Gold OR
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Men's 5,000 metres Great Britain GBR 2 h3 r3/3
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Men's 20 kilometres Great Britain GBR AC h3 r1/2
1908 Summer 23 London Cycling Men's Sprint Great Britain GBR 3 h2 r1/3
1908 Summer 23 London Cycling Men's Tandem Sprint, 2,000 metres Great Britain GBR 2 h2 r2/3

Men's Sprint

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Great Britain Round One Heat Three 2 1:23 2/5
1908 Summer 23 London Cycling Great Britain Round One Heat Two 3

Men's 333⅓ metres Time Trial

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank T
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Great Britain Final Standings 8T 24 1/5

Men's Tandem Sprint, 2,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank T M
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Great Britain GBR Final Round Match 1/2 1 OR 2:15
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Great Britain GBR Round One Heat Two 1 QU/OR 2:32 3/5
1908 Summer 23 London Cycling Great Britain GBR Semi-Finals Heat Two 2 at 1 length
1908 Summer 23 London Cycling Great Britain GBR Round One Heat Seven 1 QU 2:43.2

Men's 5,000 metres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Great Britain Round One Heat Three 2

Men's 20 kilometres

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank
1906 Summer 21 Athina Cycling Great Britain Round One Heat Three AC
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