3. Olympic Summer Games
Olympic Medals in the games of 1904 in St. Louis
274 Medals in 16 Sports in 92 Events
As early as 1894, Baron de Coubertin had expressed a wish at the founding meeting of the International Olympic Committee that the 1904 Games should take place in the United States. Chicago was originally scheduled to host the games within 16 days of September, but there were problems preparing the games. The venue was therefore relocated to St. Louis, where the Olympic Games took place in Paris as part of the World Exhibition in 1900. Again there was neither an opening nor a closing ceremony, the sports competitions were distributed from July 1 to November 23 and were more like the US National Championships with occasional foreign participation, as only a few countries sent athletes due to the long journey and the high travel costs , Not even Baron de Coubertin traveled to the games, as these were once again in a form that he absolutely couldn't approve of. With 651 athletes, including 6 women, there were fewer participants than four years earlier. 92 competitions were held in 16 sports, over 86% of all medals went to the USA, in many competitions only US student teams or athletes competed. The referees were also exclusively Americans who always preferred their own countrymen.
However, there was one change that is still effective today: the winners received gold medals for the first time. Previously there was only one silver medal for the winner and one bronze medal for the second, the third went away empty-handed.
The competitions in swimming, water polo and water jumping took place for the first time not in open water but in an artificial lake. However, this was heavily contaminated, since it was traversed by a stream that disposed of livestock manure and fertilizers in the lake from the immediately adjacent agricultural exhibition. Several athletes fell ill. Other sports competitions were also sometimes chaotic. Since the world exhibition offered a lot of attractions, the Olympic Games were hardly noticed by the visitors and the media, as they were in 1900. Baron de Coubertin was passive, which is why he was criticized within the IOC. To save the Olympic Games, the Olympic Intermediate Games were held in Athens in 1906, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Games in 1896.