Stockholm Sweden, 1912

Legacy of the Games

Legacy of the Games

The V Olympiad was the first occasion at which all five continents competed.  Asia took part for the first time, represented by Japan.

The Stockholm Games were the first Olympic Games to use automated timing equipment, the photo finish and a public address system.

Art and Literature competitions were introduced in 1912, continuing until 1948.  Baron Pierre de Coubertin won the literature competition under a nom de plume, with his “Ode to Sport”. Carlo Pellegrini won the Concours d’Art with his illustration “Les Sports d’Hiver”

The Modern Pentathlon and the Decathlon appeared in the Games for the first time.  Both events were won by American Jim Thorpe.  Thorpe was subsequently disqualified as he was deemed not to be an amateur because he had received a small payment for playing baseball.  However his gold medals were reinstated by the International Olympic Committee in 1982 and given to Thorpe’s daughter.

The longest wrestling match in history took place during these Games.  The Graeco-Roman Middleweight semi-final was fought for 11 hours between Martin Klein of Russia and Alfred Asikainen of Finland.  Klein won but was too tired to take part in the subsequent final.  Asikainen therefore fought third-place Claes Johanson of Sweden in the final.  Johanson won the gold medal with Klein being awarded the silver and Asikainen the bronze.

This was the last Olympic Games to allow ‘private entries’, ie competitors who were not part of a country’s official team.  Arnold Jackson was one of these entrants, winning the 1500 metres at the age of 21.  Jackson remains the youngest competitor to win this event.