Thomas J. Hicks
Hicks, a brass worker from Cambridge, Massachusetts who had been born in England and won a second place at the 1904 Boston Marathon, was the winner of a remarkable marathon race at the 1904 Summer Olympics, held as part of the World Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. Conditions were bad, the course being a dirt track, with large clouds of dust produced by the accompanying vehicles. Hicks was not the first to cross the finish line, trailing Fred Lorz. However, Lorz had abandoned the race after 9 miles. After covering most of the course by car, he re-entered the race shortly before the finish. This was found out by the officials, who disqualified Lorz, who claimed it had only been a joke.
Had the race been run under current rules, Hicks too would have been disqualified, as he had been given a dose of 1/60th of a grain (roughly 1 mg.) of strychnine and some brandy by his assistants as he was flagging badly during the race; the first dose of strychnine did not revive him for long, so he was given another. As a result, he collapsed after crossing the finishing line. Another dose may well have proved fatal. Both these drugs are now forbidden for athletes.
|Olympic medalists in athletics (men) | Olympic Champions in Men's Marathon|
|Spiridon Louis | Michel Théato | Thomas J. Hicks | William Sherring | Johnny Hayes | Kenneth McArthur | Hannes Kolehmainen | Albin Stenroos | Boughera El Ouafi | Juan Carlos Zabala | Sohn Kee-chung | Delfo Cabrera | Emil Zátopek | Alain Mimoun | Abebe Bikila (twice) | Mamo Wolde | Frank Shorter | Waldemar Cierpinski (twice) | Carlos Lopes | Gelindo Bordin | Hwang Young-Cho | Josia Thugwane | Gezahegne Abera | Stefano Baldini|