1924 Olympics - Paris

Paavo Nurmi may have been the talk of Antwerp in 1920, but he was the sensation of Paris four years later.

It wasn't just that the “Flying Finn” won five gold medals, it was the way he did it. Running with a stopwatch on his wrist, Peerless Paavo captured the 1,500 and 5,000-meter finals within an hour of each other and set Olympic records in both. Two days later, he blew away the field in the 10,000-meter cross-country run where the heat and an unusually difficult course combined to knock out 23 of 38 starters (Finland also won the team gold in the event). And finally, the next day he led the Finns to victory in the 3,000-meter team race. His performance overshadowed the four gold medals of teammate Ville Ritola.

The gold medals won by British runners Harold Abrahams in the 100 meters and Eric Liddell in the 400 were chronicled in the 1981 Academy Award-winning film “Chariots of Fire.” The movie, however, was not based on fact. Liddell, a devout Christian, knew months in advance that the preliminary for the 100 (his best event) was on a Sunday, so he had plenty of time to change plans and train for the 400. Also, he and Abrahams never competed against each other in real life.

Speaking of the movies, Johnny Weissmuller of the U.S. won three swimming gold medals in the 100 and 400-meter freestyles and the 4x200 freestyle relay. He would later become Hollywood's most famous Tarzan.

Event   Time  
 100m Harold Abrahams, GBR 10.6 =OR
  Jackson Scholz, USA 10.7  
  Arthur Porritt, NZL 10.8  
 200m Jackson Scholz, USA 21.6  
  Charles Paddock, USA 21.7  
  Eric Liddell, GBR 21.9  
 400m Eric Liddell, GBR 47.6 OR
  Horatio Fitch, USA 48.4  
  Guy Butler, GBR 48.6  
 800m Douglas Lowe, GBR 1:52.4  
  Paul Martin, SWI 1:52.6  
  Schuyler Enck, USA 1:53.0  
 1500m Paavo Nurmi, FIN 3:53.6 OR
  Willy Schärer, SWI 3:55.0  
  Henry Stallard, GBR 3:55.6  
 5000m Paavo Nurmi, FIN 14:31.2 OR
  Ville Ritola, FIN 14:31.4  
  Edvin Wide, SWE 15:01.8  
10,000m Ville Ritola, FIN 30:23.2 WR
  Edvin Wide, SWE 30:55.2  
  Eero Berg, FIN 31:43.0  
X-country
 (10,000m)
Paavo Nurmi, FIN 32:54.8  
  Ville Ritola, FIN 34:19.4  
  Earl Johnson, USA 35:21.0  
Marathon Albin Stenroos, FIN 2:41:22.6  
  Romeo Bertini, ITA 2:47:19.6  
  Clarence DeMar, USA 2:48:14.0  
110m H Daniel Kinsey, USA 15.0  
  Sidney Atkinson, S. Afr. 15.0  
  Sten Pettersson, SWE 15.4  
400m H F.Morgan Taylor, USA 52.6  
  Erik Vilén, FIN 53.8  
  Ivan Riley, USA 54.2  
3000m
  Steeple
Ville Ritola, FIN 9:33.6 OR
  Elias Katz, FIN 9:44.0  
  Paul Bontemps, FRA 9:45.2  
10k Walk Ugo Frigerio, ITA 47:49.0  
  Gordon Goodwin, GBR    
  Cecil McMaster, S. Afr.    
4x100m USA (Francis Hussey, Louis
Clarke, Loren Murchison,
Alfred Leconey)
41.0 =WR
  Great Britain 41.2  
  Netherlands 41.8  
4x400M USA (C.S. Cochrane, Alan
Helffrich, J.O. MacDonald,
William Stevenson)
3:16.0 WR
  Sweden 3:17.0  
  Great Britain 3:17.4  
3000m
 Team
Finland (Paavo Nurmi, Ville Ritola,
Elias Katz)
8 pts  
  Great Britain 14  
  USA 25  
X-country
 (10,000m)
Finland (Paavo Nurmi, Ville Ritola,
Hekki Liimatainen)
11 pts  
  USA 14  
  France 20  
Event   Mark  
High Jump Harold Osborn, USA 6- 6 OR
  Leroy Brown, USA 6-43/4  
  Pierre Lewden, FRA 6-31/4  
Pole Vault Lee Barnes, USA 12-111/2  
  Glen Graham, USA 12-111/2  
  James Brooker, USA 12-91/2  
Long Jump William DeHart Hubbard, USA 24- 5  
  Edward Gourdin, USA 23-103/4  
  Sverre Hansen, NOR    
Triple Jump Anthony Winter, AUS 50-111/4 WR
  Luis Bruneto, ARG 50-71/4  
  Vilho Tuulos, FIN 50-5  
Shot Put Bud Houser, USA 49- 21/4  
  Glenn Hartranft, USA 49-13/4  
  Ralph Hills, USA 48-01/4  
Discus Bud Houser, USA 151- 4 OR
  Vilho Niittymaa, FIN 147-51/2  
  Thomas Lieb, USA 147-01/2  
Hammer Fred Tootell, USA 174-10  
  Matthew McGrath, USA 166-91/2  
  Malcolm Nokes, GBR 158-31/2  
Javelin Jonni Myyrä, FIN 206- 7  
  Gunnar Lindström, SWE 199-10  
  Eugene Oberst, USA 191-5  
Pentathlon Eero Lehtonen, FIN 14 pts  
  Elemér Somfay, HUN 16  
  Robert LeGendre, USA 18  
Decathlon Harold Osborn, USA 7711 pts WR
  Emerson Norton, USA 7350.895  
  Alexander Klumberg, EST 7329.360