Michigan in the Olympics


1904 - St. Louis

Archie Hahn In the 1904 games many U.S. track and field athletes competed as representatives of municipal athletic clubs rather than universities. The U of M's Archie Hahn, for example, competed for his hometown Milwaukee Athletic Club, hence his nickname, "The Milwaukee Meteor." Still, 1904 was the "Michigan Olympics," as four current, one future and one former Wolverine came home with 10 medals: six gold, two silver, and two bronze.

Ralph Rose dominated the weight events in the first of his three Olympic appearances, winning a gold in the shot put, silver in the discus, and bronze in the hammer throw. He had tied American Martin Sheridan for first in the discus, but lost the gold medal in a throw off. Charles Dvorak won the pole vault gold medal in his second Olympics and Fred Schule won a gold in 110 meter hurdles. Archie Hahn capped the Michigan effort with three gold medals in the sprints.

Ralph Rose, Shot put Ralph Rose, hammer
Ralph Rose, winner of 6 medals in 4 events in 3 Olympics

Jam HandyMichigan did not begin intercollegiate competition in swimming until 1922, but 18 year old Henry Jamison "Jam" Handy became the first Wolverine to win a swimming medal, taking a bronze in the 440 yard breaststroke in the 1904 games. Handy, 4 ft. 1l in. and 86 pounds, enrolled at Michigan in 1902 determined to become a football star and "a world champion in all sports." When Handy presented himself to coach Yost, he was offered a position as mascot. Handy's academic career was not much longer than his football one.

As a freshman he worked as a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and published an article reporting an "innovation in educational methods" in Professor Trueblood's literature class. In having students act out certain literary passages with the proper "vito-emotive sentiments," Handy reported with some exaggeration, Trueblood was actually teaching male students how to win a young lady's hand. When the story received national coverage neither Trueblood nor President Angell were amused. Handy was suspended and returned to Chicago to work for the Tribune and begin a rigorous swimming regimen. He is credited with introducing a number of strokes to American swimming, including the Australian crawl, and held the national record in many of them for a short time. Handy competed with the Illinois Athletic Club and titles in the half-mile (1906), mile (1906 and 1907) and the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard breaststroke in1907. He was the winner of the great 10-mile race down the Mississippi River in 1906, 1907 and 1908. He was also an outstanding water polo player and won a bronze medal in the 1924 Olympic games. Handy never returned to college. He eventually entered the advertising business and his Jam Handy Organization, baasd in Detroit, became a pioneer in the use of film in marketing and training, most notably in the auto industry.

Archie Hahn winning 60-meter race, 1904
Archie Hahn winning 60-meter race, 1904

Fred Schule winning 110-meter hurdles, 1904
Fred Schule (at left) running for Milwaukee AC, 110-meter hurdles, 1904

Charles Dvorak, competing for Chicago AC, 1904
Charles Dvorak, competing for Chicago AC, 1904

The U-M Results-1904

Archie Hahn
   60 meters 1st, 7.2 sec., world record
   100 meters1st, 11.2 sec. into strong wind won by nearly 2 yards
   200 meters 1st, 21.6 sec. Olympic Record until broken by Eddie Tolan in 1932
Charles Dvorak
   pole vault 1st, 11 ft. 5.75 in.
Ralph Rose
   shot put1st, 48 ft. 7 in., world record
   Discus throw2nd, tied for first at 128 ft. 10.5 in., lost a throw-off
   Hammer throw3rd, 150 ft.
   56 lb. weight throw6th
Fred Schule
   110 meter hurdles1st, 16.0 sec.
William Coe
   Shot put 2nd, 47 ft. 3 in.
Henry Jamison "Jam" Handy
    440 yd. breaststroke 3rd

Dvorak, pole vaulting     Fred Schule     William Coe
left: Charles Dvorak clinching the gold medal,
center: Fred Schule, gold medalist in hurdles
right: William Coe, silver medalist in shot put

Photo Credits

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