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Athletics at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games:

Men's High Jump

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Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Stockholm Olympic Stadium, Stockholm
Date Started: July 7, 1912
Date Finished: July 8, 1912

Gold: USA Alma Richards
Silver: GER Hans Liesche
Bronze: USA George Horine

Summary

Based on recent results, the favorite was definitely George Hornine of the United States, although there were several top American jumpers. Horine had set a world record on 29 March 1912, clearing 1.985 (6-6 1/8) at Stanford to break Mike Sweeney’s record of 1.97 (6-5 5/8) which had stood since 1895. And at the western Olympic Trial, held on 18 May, he set another world record, clearing 6-7, the first person to jump two metres (6-7 = 2.007). Horine was a pioneer of a new high jumping style, which later became termed the Western Roll, somewhat similar to the straddle roll, the standard jumping style until Dick Fosbury pioneered the Fosbury flop. The other top Americans were Egon Erickson, who had won the AAU title in 1909 and the eastern Olympic Trial in 1912, and Alma Richards, who had recently won the central Olympic Trial.

The competition initially went about as expected, with Horine, Richards and Erickson lasting until the final five jumpers, joined by Germany’s Hans Liesche, and Jim Thorpe. Erickson and Thorpe went out first, failing to clear 1.89 metres. At 1.91, Liesche cleared on his second attempt, Richards on his last attempt, and Horine failed, leaving him with the bronze medal. When the bar was raised to 1.93 (6-4), Richards cleared easily on his first attempt. David Wallechinsky, in his The Complete Book of the Olympics, has described the problems that then ensued for Liesche, “Liesche was completely unnerved. He failed twice. Then, just as he had composed himself for his final attempt, a gun went off to signal the start of a race. Liesche waited for the race to end and then composed himself once more. This time the band began to play. After nine minutes, a Swedish official approached him and asked him to hurry up. This was the final blow. Liesche ran at the bar, but missed completely.”

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Alma Richards 22 United States USA Gold OR
2 Hans Liesche 20 Germany GER Silver OR
3 George Horine 22 United States USA Bronze
4T Egon Erickson 23 United States USA
4T Jim Thorpe 24 United States USA
6T Harry Grumpelt 27 United States USA
6T John Johnstone 20 United States USA
8 Karl-Axel Kullerstrand 20 Sweden SWE
9T Timothy Carroll 23 Great Britain GBR
9T Iván, Baron Wardener 22 Hungary HUN
11 Howard Baker 20 Great Britain GBR
NP QR Rodolfo Hammersley 22 Chile CHI
NP QR Arvo Laine 24 Finland FIN
NP QR André Labat 23 France FRA
NP QR Géo André 22 France FRA
NP QR Michel Meerz 22 France FRA
NP QR Marius Delaby 21 France FRA
NP QR Armand Estang 25 France FRA
NP QR Thomas O'Donahue 24 Great Britain GBR
NP QR Otto Röhr 20 Germany GER
NP QR Lajos Ludinszky 22 Hungary HUN
NP QR Alfredo Pagani 24 Italy ITA
NP QR Angelo Tonini 23 Italy ITA
NP QR Otto Monsen 24 Norway NOR
NP QR Gerhard Olsen 19 Norway NOR
NP QR Olav Aarnes 23 Norway NOR
NP QR Gösta Hallberg 20 Sweden SWE
NP QR Richard Sjöberg 21 Sweden SWE
NP QR Ragnar Mattson 20 Sweden SWE
NP QR Paulus af Uhr 20 Sweden SWE
NP QR Gösta Holmér 20 Sweden SWE
NP QR Jervis Burdick 23 United States USA
NP QR Harold Enright 22 United States USA
NP QR Wesley Oler 20 United States USA
NP QR Platt Adams 27 United States USA
NP QR John Nicholson 22 United States USA