Len Tau and Thomas Hicks -- Attacked By Dogs Mid-Race and on Rat PoisonThe 1904 Olympic Marathon was hard on everyone. If you were one of the few that actually finished the race, chances are you had a harrowing encounter during the run. Len Tau was chased a mile off course by a dog and still managed to come in ninth place. Thomas Hicks takes the cake, though, with his consumption of strychnine - rat poison - to stimulate his central nervous system. Twice during the race, Hicks' handlers administered the rat poison to him, along with raw eggs and brandy.
Somehow, he not only managed to cross the finish line, but he did it first and took the gold. Looks like I'll be bringing my flask with me on my next 5k run.
Richard Allen Signs Autographs While PlayingAn excellent way to show what a badass you are is to sign autographs DURING your Olympic event. That's exactly what Richard Allen did in the 1932 Olympics when India trounced the US team in field hockey.
The Indian team was leading the match 24-0 when Allen, their goalkeeper, took a break to sign autographs behind the post. This gave the American team a chance to score a singular goal. Allen participated in three Olympic ceremonies and only ever had two goals scored against him, a standing record.
Martin Klein Wins the Longest Wrestling Match in HistoryOne thing I love above all else is watching sweaty men punching each other. In the 1912 Olympics, fans bore witness to the longest wrestling match, which lasted 11 hours and forty minutes.
Klein ended up winning, but he was too exhausted to compete in the finals. I can't blame him for not wanting to continue, there's only so much dude-on-dude action that one person can handle.
Wilma Rudolph Overcomes Infantile ParalysisThe best way to start a career as a runner is to have infantile paralysis. Wilma Rudolph was struck by the disease and work a brace on her twisted left leg until she was nine. By the time Rudolph was twelve, she had suffered from scarlet fever, whooping cough, measles, and chickenpox. How she even made it to sixteen is a miracle. In the 1960 Olympics, the twenty-year-old Rudolph was considered a track superstar, won three gold medals, and was considered the "Fastest Woman on Earth." Looks like a little adversity does a body good. Milk has nothing on Wilma Rudolph.
For her next trick, she planned on acquiring and surviving both AIDS and cancer, but her coach suggested she dial it back a bit.
George Eyser, Wooden Leg, Wins the Gold
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