Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Date Started: April 25, 1906
Date Finished: April 25, 1906
Format: Final only.
World-record holder Martin Sheridan, who had won the discus in 1904 at St. Louis, won this competition quite easily. He was at this time unequaled as a discus thrower and as an all-around athlete. Born in Bohola, County Mayo, Ireland, Martin Sheridan emigrated to the United States in 1900, following his brother, Richard, who had come over in 1897. Richard Sheridan quickly established himself in the United States as a discus thrower. Martin Sheridan also took up the event and quickly became the best in the world at it. Sheridan stood 6'3" and weighed 195 lbs. in his prime.
In the era when Sheridan competed, there was no official governing body that recognized world records. Various sources credit him with between seven and sixteen world records. Sheridan's Olympic fame rests primarily on winning the Olympic gold medal in the discus in 1904, 1906, and 1908. But he was far more than just a discus thrower. Overall, he won nine Olympic medals, including five gold, counting those Sheridan won in the 1906 Olympics.
Sheridan was a superb jumper and weight thrower, but he displayed his other talents in the all-around championship, the early American forerunner of the decathlon. Sheridan entered three all-arounds in his athletic career, the AAU National Championships of 1905, 1907, and 1909. He won each of them easily, and set a world record each time, finally leaving it at 7,385 points, a mark which Jim Thorpe broke by only a few points in 1912. Sheridan also won the AAU discus championship in 1904, 1906, 1907, and again in 1911, just before his retirement as an athlete.
Off the field, Sheridan worked as a policeman (1902-1918) as did many of the Irish-American athletes. His fame led him to be the personal bodyguard for the governor of New York whenever he visited the city. Sheridan never married and died without issue from pneumonia only seven years after he retired from athletics. In the New York Herald-Tribune, his obituary proclaimed him to be the greatest all-around athlete ever known in the United States - greater even than Jim Thorpe. Thorpe himself stated in the obituary, "Sheridan was the greatest athlete in the world. He could do things I never could."
|1||Martin Sheridan||25||United States||USA||Gold||41.460||WR|
|AC||Robert Edgren||32||United States||USA|