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Athletics at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games:

Men's Pentathlon

Athletics at the 1912 Summer Games: Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue(s): Stockholm Olympic Stadium, Stockholm
Date Started: July 7, 1912
Date Finished: July 7, 1912
Format: Scored by points-for-place in each event. Twelve top finishers after three events advanced to the fourth event (discus throw). Six top finishers (and ties) advanced to the fifth event (1,500 metres). After three events, the totals were re-scored counting the marks among only the 12 qualifiers for the final two events. Ties were broken using the decathlon scoring tables.

Gold: NOR Ferdinand Bie
USA Jim Thorpe
Silver: USA Jim Donahue
Bronze: CAN Frank Lukeman

Summary

At the eastern U.S. Olympic Trials on 18 May 1912, held in New York, Jim Thorpe won easily, setting what is considered the first world record in the pentathlon with 3,656.980 points (3,372 on the 1985 tables). He was considered the American favorite in the Olympic pentathlon, but it was difficult to handicap the field as the event had never been contested internationally.

Thorpe solved the problem rather simply by winning four of the five events contested. Only in the javelin throw was he beaten by any athlete, as both Sweden’s Hugo Wieslander and Oscar Lemming posted longer javelin throws. Thorpe’s dominance was almost complete. Using 1912 scoring tables, his margin of victory was over 400 points.

But as in the decathlon, Jim Thorpe only kept his pentathlon gold medal until early 1913 when he was disqualified for professionalism. The gold medal reverted to Norway’s Ferdinand Bie. For a complete description of the Thorpe controversy, see Appendix II. Thorpe has also been awarded the Challenge Trophy for the pentathlon, which had been donated by the King of Sweden.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal O EF P(1912AT) P(1985T)
1 Jim Thorpe 24 United States USA Gold 7 4,041.530 3.660
2 Ferdinand Bie 24 Norway NOR Gold 21 3,623.840 3.336
3 Jim Donahue 27 United States USA Silver 29 3,475.865 3.316
4 Frank Lukeman 26 Canada CAN Bronze 29 3,396.975 3.204
5 Austin Menaul 24 United States USA 30 3,378.210 3.225
6 Avery Brundage 24 United States USA 31 3,451.930 3.184
7 Hugo Wieslander 22 Sweden SWE 32 3,540.560 3.255
8 Gösta Holmér 20 Sweden SWE 30 4 events 2,716.785 2.285
9 Inge Lindholm 19 Sweden SWE 30 4 events 2,706.205 2.318
10 Oscar Lemming 25 Sweden SWE 31 4 events
11 Nils Fjästad 22 Sweden SWE 32 4 events
12 Emil Kukko 23 Finland FIN 35 4 events
13 Otto Bäurle 25 Germany GER 38 3 events
14 Einar Nilsson 20 Sweden SWE 39 3 events
15 Erik Kugelberg 21 Sweden SWE 40 3 events 1,982.875 1.751
16 Charles Lomberg 25 Sweden SWE 40 3 events 1,931.050 1.742
17 Pierre Failliot 23 France FRA 42 3 events
18 Hugo Ericson 26 Sweden SWE 44 3 events
19 Jack Eller 28 United States USA 47 3 events
20 Julius Wagner 29 Switzerland SUI 52 3 events
21 Gustav Krojer 26 Austria AUT 54 3 events
22 Géo André 22 France FRA 60 3 events
23 Mığır Mığıryan 29 Turkey TUR 67 3 events
24 Alfredo Pagani 24 Italy ITA 68 3 events
AC Karl von Halt 20 Germany GER 2 events DNF
AC Josef Waitzer 28 Germany GER 2 events DNF