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Tug-Of-War at the 1900 Paris Summer Games

1900 Summer Games: Next Summer Games

Sports:

Host City: Paris, France
Date Started: July 16, 1900
Date Finished: July 16, 1900
Events: 1

Participants: 12 (12 men and 0 women) from 4 countries
Youngest Participant: SWE Karl Gustaf Staaf (19 years, 101 days)
Oldest Participant: DEN Eugen Schmidt (38 years, 149 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 12 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): MIX Mixed team (2 medals)

Overview

Tug-of-war was contested by only two teams – one from France and a mixed Scandanavian team from Sweden and Denmark. A United States’ team was also entered but did not take part. In various sources over the years, very different results are seen for this sport, despite the small number of entrants. The best study of the problem was done by Ture Widlund, a founding member of the International Society of Olympic Historians (ISOH), who published his work, “Dragkamp vid Olympiska Spelen i Paris 1900,” in Idrott Historia och Samhälle in 1981. His conclusion is quite unmistakable that only the two teams mentioned actually competed, with the Scandanavian team defeating the French team. Both the Journal des Sports and The New York Herald Tribune (Paris edition) noted however, that after the competition had ended, the American team pulled against the Swedish/Danish team. Journal des Sports wrote (translated), “The Americans wanted to tug in spiked shoes. Protests were raised, whereupon they took off their shoes and tugged barefoot, which gave them a certain advantage. The first round was won by the Americans. In the second round some Americans, who did not belong to the team, grabbed the rope to help their countrymen, who were tired. An unpleasant incident now followed, which nearly ended in a common fight. Officials intervened and brought an end to the unpleasant scene.” The New York Times noted, “The remaining event, the tug-of-war, was won by a Swedish team against a French team, the Americans not competing.”

Medalists

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's Tug-Of-War MIX Mixed team MIX Mixed team