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Peter O'Connor

Full name: Peter O'Connor
Gender: Male
Height: 6-1 (186 cm)
Weight: 146 lbs (66 kg)
Born: October 24, 1872 in Millom, Cumbria, Great Britain
Died: November 9, 1957 in Upton, Waterford, Ireland
Affiliations: Amateur Athletic Association, IRL
Country: GBR Great Britain
Sport: Athletics

Medals: 1 Gold, 1 Silver (2 Total)

Biography

In August 1900, Peter O'Connor set his first world long jump record, and in a phenomenal 1901 season he improved his record no less than four times. He also bettered the old record on five other occasions, although these marks were not recognized because of various irregularities. The highlight of the season was a jump of 24-11¾ (7.61) off a board runway at Ball's Bridge, Dublin, on 5 August, which was subsequently recognized as the first official IAAF record. It remained on the books for 20 years and was not beaten as an Irish All-Comers record until 1968. O’Connor also won the first of six consecutive AAA long jump titles in 1901. He was also the high jump champion in 1903 and 1904, when he shared the title in a three-way tie with John Milne, and R G Murray.

In the long jump at the 1906 Olympics O'Connor had trouble with his run-up, which resulted in a fierce dispute with the judges. They repeatedly called him for "no-jumping" and he finished in second place with a mark more than one foot below his best. Frustrated by this result, O'Connor turned to his secondary event, the triple jump, in search of a gold medal. On paper his fellow-Irishman [Cornelius "Con" Leahy], the newly-crowned high jump champion and an excellent all-round jumper, was the favorite, but things went well for O'Connor and he finally won an Olympic gold medal. The Games did not go without controversy for O’Connor and his fellow Irish team-mates Leahy, [John Daly] and [John McGough]. All four went to the Games with the support of the Irish Athletic Association and GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) and they believed they were representing Ireland. But when they got to Athens they were listed as representing Great Britain and Ireland. At the long jump medal ceremony O’Connor, already angry at the judging in the event, staged a protest by climbing up the flag pole and pulling down the British flag and hoisting the Irish one in its place in what is regarded as the first of many political protests in the long history of the Olympic Games.

O'Connor retired at the end of the 1906 season and concentrated on his solicitor's practice, Peter O’Connor and Sons which was still going strong in Waterford more 100 years later, but he maintained a keen interest in the sport and was one of the judges at the [1932 Olympic Games] in Los Angeles. He was also a spectator at the [1936 Games] and press interviews at the time revealed that his style of jumping was remarkably similar to that of [Jesse Owens], the winner at the Berlin Olympics.

Personal Bests: HJ – 1.88 (6-2) (1902); LJ – 7.61 (24-11¾) (1901); TJ – 14.63 (48-0) (1899).

Results

Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Men's High Jump Great Britain GBR AC
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Men's Long Jump Great Britain GBR 2 Silver
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Men's Triple Jump Great Britain GBR 1 Gold

Men's High Jump

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Great Britain Final Standings AC

Men's Long Jump

Men's Triple Jump

Games Age City Sport Country Phase Unit Rank D
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Great Britain Final Standings 1 14.075
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Great Britain Round One 2 13.800
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Great Britain Round Two 2 13.735
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Great Britain Round Three 2 foul
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Great Britain Round Four 2 13.675
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Great Britain Round Five 2 13.545
1906 Summer 33 Athina Athletics Great Britain Round Six 1 14.075
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