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Croquet at the 1900 Paris Summer Games

1900 Summer Games:

Sports:

Host City: Paris, France
Date Started: June 28, 1900
Date Finished: July 11, 1900
Events: 3

Participants: 10 (7 men and 3 women) from 1 country
Youngest Participant: FRA Gaston Aumoitte (15 years, 191 days)
Oldest Participant: FRA Chrétien Waydelich (58 years, 218 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 3 athletes with 2 medals
Most Medals (Country): FRA France (7 medals)

Overview

Very little is known about croquet at the 1900 Olympics. Some Olympic historians will state that it was not an Olympic sport. However, it is listed among the “Jeux Athlétiques” in the 1900 Official Report, and definitely appears to have been a championship of the exposition. In addition, the only known “Programme des Jeux Olympiques de 1900 – Paris” lists croquet as one of the “Jeux” on the program. It is also listed on the program of the Olympische Spiele published in the 23 March 1900 edition of Sport im Wort.

There were four events contested in association with the Exposition – singles for one ball, singles for two balls, doubles, and a handicap singles event. The handicap event cannot be considered of Olympic calibre. It was won, however, by M. Vignerot, who also competed in the singles for two balls.

There were no foreign entrants that we know of. The croquet events were sparsely covered in the news in 1900, the best coverage being in Journal des Sports, although both La Vie au Grand Air, and Le Sport Universal Illustré had coverage of the event. In fact, we have never seen a mention of the doubles event in any sporting journal or paper. Absolutely nothing is known about that event, other than the last names of the winners.

The most important occurence at 1900 croquet is that women made their Olympic début in this sport. In fact, three women competed. Originally, one of the MADmen (Mallon) wrote an article for Citius, Altius, Fortius (later the Journal of Olympic History), which stated that two women competed, but it has since been confirmed, after a more careful re-reading of Journal des Sports and La Vie au Grand Air, that three of the 1900 croquetists were women.

They competed in croquet which began on 28 June, and they competed against the men in the same competition. Thus they would be among the first female Olympians, trailing only the Swiss Helen de Pourtalès in yachting. Their names are listed in the Paris daily sporting journal of the time, Journal des Sports and in La Vie au Grand Air, a sporting weekly. They are Mme.Filleaul Brohy (goddaughter of Brohy), Marie Ohnier, and Mme. Després, the wife of André Després.

Medalists