Thursday, September 28, 2023

Olympic Field Medalists

Today we will look at Olympic field event medalists through the decades roughly in chronological order. First up is Irish-born John Flanagan who was already the world record holder in the hammer throw when he emigrated to the USA in 1896.  By 1900 he was eligible for the US Olympic team, 
and he won the Gold medal in his chosen sport then and again in 1908 and 1912.  A New York 
City policeman, he returned to Ireland and took up farming and coaching after the 
1912 Olympics because he was assigned a job that kept him from training.



  1. I would hazard that this photograph was taken before Mr Flanagan emigrated or after his return to Ireland, because his vest seems to have a shamrock blazon on the left breast - unless, of course, he belonged to an Irish athletics club in New York. The Irish Free State came into being in 1922 with its tricolour of green (for Catholic Ireland), Orange (For the Dutch House of Orange, colour of the Protestant majority of six of the counties of Ulster) and white (the peace between them). (The Republic proper was declared in 1949.) Until then, various blazons and flags were used for Ireland in sport.

    Mr Flanagan's shorts would have been regular athletics issue for the last quarter of the 19th century. Originally running shorts, they also compare favourably with adaptations for "football" - both Rugby and Soccer - and field events.

    1. Thanks, Julian! I really appreciate the added provenance for one of my favorite photos in today series.