The Worst Olympic Event in History | Tales From the Bottle

The Worst Olympic Event in History | Tales From the Bottle


Today I would like to share with you a
tale I first stumbled across on Wikipedia. To this day it is the best
thing I’ve ever read on Wikipedia; I’m talking about the 1904 Summer Olympics
men’s marathon. You might think that that sounds pretty boring but you’d be wrong.
The whole event turned out to be hilariously bizarre, it was a total
disaster, a complete catastrophe, a cluster fuckin shit show, an omelette du fromage.
Imagine the scene – it’s the afternoon in st. Louis, temperature’s a scorching of 32
degrees Celsius – that’s 90 degrees Fahrenheit for those with poor choice in
units of measurement. The course for the race is laid out on dusty country roads.
Cars hosting race officials are kicking up dust clouds all along the track – more
on this later – the only source of water was a well at the 11 mile mark — yeah, the
organizers of this event couldn’t tell their arse from their elbow. You can
probably already see some potential problems. Out of the 32 athletes that
competed only 14 managed to finish the race – that’s less than half! What were they doing!? French man Albert Corey arrived without the
correct documents so he wasn’t even allowed to compete for France – gobshite. For some reason they let him compete anyway – hmmm, strange. He ran for the US – what!? He
won silver for them – what!? What kind of fucking Mickey Mouse setup is this?
Imagine if Usain Bolt just showed up to a race he said; “Ah, fuck it – I’ll race for
Ireland”, Usain Bolt if you’re listening to this please actually do that we’d
like to win too. Another competitor Fred Lorz had to just drop out from the race
after about nine miles due to the poor conditions. He hitched a ride in one of
the official’s cars back to the stadium. The car broke down because of course it
did. Lorz got out of the car – keep in mind he had just taken it for 10 miles –
and then proceeded to re-enter the race. Obviously he crossed the finish line
first, the cheeky bastard. He had his picture taken with Alice Roosevelt;
daughter of then President Theodore Roosevelt and he was just about to be
awarded the gold when someone ratted him out. Lorz claimed
he was only joking and the AAU took this in good humor and responded by
immediately banning him for life. The marathon included the first two
black Africans to compete in the Olympics – a move that white people would
later come to regret. While in reality there were just two students from South
Africa they were portrayed as two savage tribesmen brought over as part of a Boer
War exhibit – mhmmm, 1904. Yamasani finished in 12th place and Len Tau
finished in 9th; this was regarded as a disappointment as many observers were
sure Len Tau could have done better if he had not been chased nearly a mile off
course by aggressive dogs. A Cuban postman nearly missed the entire thing,
entering at just the last second, Andarin Carvajal had lost all of his money
in New Orleans and he had to hitchhike all the way to St. Louis. So great – a
fucking hobo entered the race. He had to race in his street clothes and he just
cut holes in his trousers to make them look like shorts. He was doing well in
the race but he hadn’t eaten in over 40 hours, the poor man; and he was so hungry
he had to stop at an orchard during the race to eat some apples. The apples
turned out to be rotting from the inside and he fell violently ill. He still
managed to finish in fourth place, the absolute madman. William Garcia was
another competitor to suffer illness during the race. He was found almost dead
lying on the road with severe internal injuries from breathing in the clouds of
dust from the race officials’ cars. A man almost died. So, so far we’ve had a
Frenchman competing as an American man, a cheating fucker who almost got away with it, a pack of feral dogs, a penniless postman hobo and a near fatality. Who won
this race? That would be Thomas Hicks, although calling him a “winner” is
probably being more than a bit liberal with the term. Hicks wanted to stop
during the race due to the exhausting conditions – who could
blame him? He was physically restrained by his trainers from lying down and have
a rest, which I’m fairly sure that’s against the rules by today’s standards.
To keep Hicks competing they hatched the genius plan to dope him up, which is — yeah, that’s definitely against the rules by today’s standards. So what sort of
drugs did they give him? Well, rat poison, of course, they gave him rat poison. They probably could have done with learning the difference between
performance-enhancing drugs and lethal toxins. That’s a schoolboy error – those
things are worlds apart, they’re pretty much opposites actually.
Anyway, Hicks continued with the race and by the time he reached the finish line he
was barely able to walk and he was hallucinating – he was tripping balls.
His support team literally carried him over the line while he shuffled his feet
in the air as if still running. He was awarded gold. He would have died had he
not been immediately seen to by several doctors and Thomas Hicks never raced
again.

100 Replies to “The Worst Olympic Event in History | Tales From the Bottle”

  1. My grandpa was in the olympics once or twice but sadly never got a medalbecuse when he was the best in the world tensions betwen west and east made the olympics canceled.

  2. Rat poison. Yeah, in 1904, that woulda been strychnine. In very small doses, acts like an amphetamine. Strychnine. Yeah.

  3. Tbh I like metric for distance, but I prefer Fahrenheit over Celsius. Everyday temperature will fluctuate more in Fahrenheit than Celsius, so it feels more precise

  4. That hobo has more will power and determination than most people I know. Amazingly, he beat the odds and managed to place in the few high placements!

    That hobo is now my inspiration to continue doing shit.

  5. Your video actually pisses me off. Why do you have to depict Americans as idiots every chance you get? Fuck off will ya?

  6. If the rat poison used was strychnine it makes sense. It doesn't let the muscles turn off resulting in painful spasms. You kids might have experienced this on a night of extasy were your jaw wont stop. He was very lucky not to die of dehydration considering the conditions.

  7. The best thing you’ve read on Wikipedia? Well, I assume you have not yet read the wiki article on “Sexually Active Popes”.

  8. Why do Europeans and Brits, Irish, etc., always feel the need to feign superiority at every opportunity? Especially over stupid shit like units if measurement? You can't even speak without disparaging others. What difference does it make? Fucking hell. It's always a passive aggressive jab at the more successful Irish that built America, who clung to their God, guns and units of measurement. This is bait, btw. Who's going to bite?

  9. Wild guess here… was the "my mother was a tailor" quote the hobo said a refrence from five finger death punches song house of the rising house?

  10. This is 1904. You could of legally given the guy crack. or just morphine so he couldn’t feel his body screaming.

    But no. RAT POISON.

  11. Rat poison is just blood thinner with other trash in it but even if the trainers were stupid idk why they would use it

  12. Great video. I would pay good money to watch this marathon. You forgot to mention that the Cuban postman took a nap after eating the rotten apples and still finished 4th. What an absolute madman!

  13. I can see why this isn't talked about, at least I'd never heard of this terrible ordeal before now. I ran a marathon over ten years ago and needed water every ten minutes to keep from cramping up in the heat. Just before the finish they handed out cups of cold beer instead of water and I circled that station three times before crossing the line. The beer hit me like I'd finished a bottle of whiskey so I didn't even feel the pain from my bleeding nipples…. I don't even like to drive that far these days.

  14. Poor choice for units of measurement… yeah ok. Let's all convert to smaller units so that the numbers you must remember are larger just because of the rule of ten. The simpleton, needs multiples of ten to do math if you ask me.

  15. laugh from start to finish. absolutely loved your "fuck all" narations and suoerbly amazing illustrations. keep up the good work. I'm a fan from Malaysia

  16. Just reading the Smithsonian thing on this. "Among the leading oddities were 10 Greeks who had never run a marathon" 10 of the 32 people in this race, had never run a marathon! How does this happen?!

  17. It's not just the Olympics that were a shitshow. The entire 1904 world's fair was absolutely insane. I'd give anything to have seen it in person.

  18. WTF dude you're killing me I needed a good laugh thanks for the video from up here in South Philadelphia PA u.s. take care and keep them coming

  19. Imagine being so brain dead you have to ask water how hot it is instead of gauging it using your own body temp

  20. This is no mere disaster, this is God waking up that morning and being like “fuck those guys in particular.”

  21. As soon as he said "32° Celsius" instead of using Fahrenheit i immidietly knew this guy is an idiot with no class.

  22. 90? Hah. That's par for the course for STL in the summer. Now imagine being on a turf where it's 10 degrees warmer than anywhere else

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