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Summer Olympic Sports

Current Summer Olympic sports - Rugby Union

Rugby union at the Summer Olympics

 

  Rugby banner
 Olympic Rugby

Rugby

Games: 4 games in 3 countries
Events: 1

Participants: 155 (155 men and 0 women) from 7 countries
Youngest Participant: FRA Andre Rischmann (18 years, 261 days), 1900 Summer Games
Oldest Participant: FRA Raoul Thiercelin (40 years, 47 days), 1920 Summer Games
Top Athlete Medalist(s): 7 athletes with 2 medals
Top Country Medalist(s): 3 countries with 2 medals

 

Rugby union has been a men's medal sport at the modern Summer Olympic Games, being played at four of the first seven competitions. The sport debuted at the 1900 Paris games where the gold medal was won by the host nation. It was subsequently featured at the London games in 1908, the Antwerp games in 1920 and the Paris games in 1924.

Shortly after the 1924 games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) dropped rugby union as an Olympic sport. Since then there have been numerous attempts to bring the sport back to the Olympic programme. In October 2009 the IOC voted at its session in Copenhagen to include the sevens version of the sport in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The event made its debut in an Olympic programme at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics.

Inclusion

The sport was introduced by Pierre de Coubertin, who is famous for reviving the modern Olympics. He also helped to establish rugby in France, refereeing the first domestic French club championship in 1892 and France's first international, on New Year's Day, 1906, at Parc des Princes. Coubertin formed the IOC in 1894, but rugby union was not featured until the II Olympiad.

1900

Three National Olympic Committees (NOCs), France, Germany and Great Britain, entered teams at the 1900 games. The German and British teams were not national teams in the current sense of the word: Moseley Wanderers RFC represented Great Britain and the FC 1880 Frankfurt represented Germany. Rules were also different from today's; 3 points, not 5, were awarded for tries and 4, not 3, were given for a drop goal. Also, 4 points were awarded for a goal from mark, which would be reduced to 3 points in 1905 and eliminated completely in 1977. Points for penalties and conversions, 3 and 2 respectively, were the same as in the modern game.

France won the gold, beating Great Britain 27 points to 8 and defeating Germany 27 points to 17. Other sources list the German team as second, because of the points difference, but no such determination was made in 1900. 6,000 people watched the game between France and Great Britain, which was the largest crowd at the games. Constantin Henriquez, a player on the French team, is the first known coloured athlete to compete in the Olympic Games.[6]

1908

Rugby union was not played at the 1904 games in St. Louis, nor at the 1906 Intercalated Games, but was included in 1908, when the Olympics were held in the sport's native country. The Rugby Football Union (RFU) was involved in the organization of the sport at this edition of the Olympics. Like the 1900 games, three teams entered: Australasia (representing Australia and New Zealand), France, and hosts Great Britain (which included the whole of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland). France pulled out prior to the commencement of the tournament, being unable to field a representative team. Australasia was represented by the Wallabies, who were already on tour in Britain. As the best English and Welsh players were on tour in New Zealand at the time, Great Britain was represented by the Cornwall county team, who were chosen by the RFU as an appropriate side after they defeated Durham in the 1907 English county championship. The choice of Cornwall was controversial, as only three of their players had ever represented England and the Wallabies had defeated them 18 points to five.

As expected, Australasia defeated Great Britain, claiming the gold medal, the score being 32 points to three. The match at the White City Stadium was played under poor conditions, in fog and on a slippery field. Two of the Australian team members would later win another Olympic gold medal. Danny Carroll would win another rugby gold with the United States in 1920, while Sydney Middleton would win a gold medal in rowing at the 1912 Games, where rugby was not on the programme. The sport also failed to appear on the provisional schedule of the 1916 Summer Olympics, which were cancelled due to World War I.

1920

A campaign to send an American side to the 1920 games in Antwerp started in California after a Berkeley rugby union touring party returned from British Columbia undefeated in 1920. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) granted permission for entry. A pool of players from Stanford, Berkeley, and Santa Clara made up the squad. 1908 champion Danny Carroll, a player-coach at Stanford at the time, was the team's most prominent member. When the U.S. arrived in Antwerp, the Czechoslovakian and Romanian teams had withdrawn, leaving only France and the United States. The English RFU had decided not to enter a team, so as not to interfere with the start of the English domestic season.

The only match was played in rain in front of around 20,000 spectators. The U.S., featuring many players new to the sport of rugby, caused a shock by winning the only match eight points to zero, all points being scored in the second half. One of the U.S. team members, Morris Kirksey, took home two more medals from Antwerp, finishing second to Charles Paddock in the 100 meters dash, and anchoring the winning 4 × 100 meters relay team.

1924

The sport was again included in the subsequent 1924 games in Paris. The USOC decided to send a team. Along with the U.S. and the host nation, Romania entered. The American team was again made up of mainly Californian players. The U.S. squad departed on a seven-day voyage to England on an ocean liner from New York City.

France defeated Romania 61 to 3 and entered the final game as favorites. The gold medal game was played on 18 May in front of 21,000 spectators at the Colombes venue. The U.S. defeated France. At the final whistle the pitch was invaded by the French fans. The medal ceremony took place with police protection.

Rare vintage footage of the 1924 Gold Medal match was included in the rugby documentary, A Giant Awakens: the Rise of American Rugby.

Exclusion

The pitch invasion at the 1924 Paris Olympics had given rugby a poor image and this, together with the problems of attracting sufficient teams to make it a viable sport and the desire to include more individual and women's events, spelled the death knell for rugby at the Olympics.

Baron Pierre De Coubertin stepped down as head of the Olympic Movement after 1925 and with his departure the sport lost one of its major advocates. In 1928 the IOC turned down a request to stage rugby at the Amsterdam games. An exhibition tournament was held at the 1936 Berlin Games, with France, Germany, Italy and Romania competing. In what was, to date, the last rugby match played at the Olympics, France beat Germany in the final 19 to 14.

In 1976, 22 African countries and Guyana boycotted the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, after their demand to have New Zealand excluded was not met. A New Zealand rugby team had toured South Africa, which had been banned from the Olympics since 1964 because of its apartheid politics. Rugby union not being an Olympic sport, the IOC declined to exclude New Zealand

Efforts for re-inclusion

Fifteens

Italy in 1960, the Soviet Union in 1980, and South Korea in 1988 made requests to have rugby union brought back. The 1980 request did not pass, and the 1988 games came close but failed to see the sport's admission, which was backed by the International Rugby Football Board (now, World Rugby (WR)).

Apart from supporting the individual host cities' requests, the IRB did not focus its own efforts on returning the sport to the Olympics until the early 1990s, when efforts began to reunite the two movements with a series of informal meetings between the then IRB Secretary, Keith Rowlands, and the British Olympic Association Secretary, Dick Palmer. In 1994, when Vernon Pugh QC of Wales was elected Chairman of the IRB, the march towards Olympic recognition began in earnest. Pugh convinced the IRB Council that Olympic membership – initially as a non-participation sport – would be beneficial to rugby and offer the IRB member unions membership of their National Olympic Committees. Many European Federations, such as France, Italy and Romania, had been members of their National Olympic Committees for decades. The demand to get rugby back in the Olympics mounted as more rugby nations from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas joined the IRB, because it was a sport seen as providing a realistic medal opportunity for a number of smaller nations.

A significant step in the process of acceptance back into the Olympic Movement was achieved at a ceremony held in Cardiff in November 1994, when the IRB was officially confirmed as a Recognised International Federation of the IOC. At that ceremony, International Olympic Committee President, Juan Antonio Samaranch, pointed out that rugby's history and values were very much in tune with the Olympic philosophy and traditions. This historic meeting in Cardiff led to IRB representation at annual IOC meetings and consideration for inclusion in the programme of future Olympic Games. In 2002, a plan was presented to induct rugby sevens, golf and the Chinese martial art of wushu.
for all the information and results per Olympic Game visit the links
1900 Summer Olympics - The Results (Rugby)
1908 Summer Olympics - The Results (Rugby)
1920 Summer Olympics - The Results (Rugby)
1924 Summer Olympics - The Results (Rugby)

Men

Results

Year Host Gold medal game Bronze medal game
Gold Score Silver Bronze Score 4th place
1900 France
Paris
France
France
  North German Confederation
Germany
United Kingdom
Great Britain
three nations entered
1908 United Kingdom
London
Australasia
Australasia
32–3 United Kingdom
Great Britain
two nations entered
1920 Belgium
Antwerp
United States
United States
8–0 France
France
two nations entered
1924 France
Paris
United States
United States
17–3 France
France
Romania
Romania
  three nations entered

Participating nations

Nation 00 08 20 24 Years
 Australasia 1st place, gold medalist(s)  
 France 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s)  
 Germany 2nd place, silver medalist(s)  
 Great Britain 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s)  
 Romania 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)  
 United States 1st place, gold medalist(s) 1st place, gold medalist(s)  
Total nations 3 2 2 3  

Medal table

 
Rank Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  United States (USA) 2 0 0 2
2  France (FRA) 1 2 0 3
3  Australasia (ANZ) 1 0 0 1
4  Great Britain (GBR) 0 2 0 2
5  Germany (GER) 0 1 0 1
6  Romania (ROM) 0 0 1 1
Totals (6 nations) 4 5 1 10

 In one or more Games, athletes who won at least 1 medal, competing in Rugby, male athletes

 
Rk Athlete Country From To Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Adolphe Bousquet France 1920 1924 0 2 0 2
2 Charlie Doe United States 1920 1924 2 0 0 2
3 John O'Neil United States 1920 1924 2 0 0 2
4 Jack Patrick United States 1920 1924 2 0 0 2
5 Rudy Scholz United States 1920 1924 2 0 0 2
6 Babe Slater United States 1920 1924 2 0 0 2
7 Dan Carroll Australasia/United States 1908 1920 2 0 0 2
8 René Araou France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
9 Dumitru Armășel Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
10 Jean Bayard France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
11 Louis Béguet France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
12 André Béhotéguy France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
13 Gheorghe Benția Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
14 Alex Bioussa France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
15 Étienne Bonnes France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
16 Aimé Cassayet-Armagnac France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
17 Phil Clark United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
18 Norman Cleaveland United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
19 Dudley DeGroot United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
20 Bob Devereaux United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
21 George Dixon United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
22 Clément Dupont France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
23 Albert Dupouy France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
24 Jean Etcheberry France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
25 Linn Farish United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
26 Teodor Florian Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
27 Henri Galau France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
28 Gilbert Gérintès France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
29 Ion Gîrleșteanu Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
30 Raoul Got France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
31 Ed Graff United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
32 Dick Hyland United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
33 Adolphe Jauréguy France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
34 René Lasserre France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
35 Marcel-Frédéric Lubin-Lebrère France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
36 Caesar Mannelli United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
37 Nicolae Mărăscu Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
38 Teodor Marian Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
39 Sorin Mihăilescu Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
40 Paul Nedelcovici Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
41 Iosif Nemes Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
42 Étienne Piquiral France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
43 William Rogers United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
44 Eugen Sfetescu Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
45 Mircea Sfetescu Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
46 Norm Slater United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
47 Soare Sterian Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
48 Atanasie Tănăsescu Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
49 Ed Turkington United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
50 Alan Valentine United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
51 Mihai Vardală Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
52 Jean Vaysse France 1924 1924 0 1 0 1
53 Paul Vidrașcu Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
54 Dumitru Volvoreanu Romania 1924 1924 0 0 1 1
55 Alan Williams United States 1924 1924 1 0 0 1
56 Édouard Bader France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
57 François Borde France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
58 Jean Bruneval France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
59 Alphonse Castex France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
60 André Chilo France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
61 René Crabos France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
62 Curtet France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
63 Alfred Eluère France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
64 George Fish United States 1920 1920 1 0 0 1
65 Jim Fitzpatrick United States 1920 1920 1 0 0 1
66 Jacques Forestier France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
67 Grenet France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
68 Lou Hunter United States 1920 1920 1 0 0 1
69 Morris Kirksey United States 1920 1920 1 0 0 1
70 Maurice Labeyrie France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
71 Robert Levasseur France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
72 Charles Mehan United States 1920 1920 1 0 0 1
73 John Muldoon United States 1920 1920 1 0 0 1
74 Pierre Petiteau France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
75 Cornelius Righter United States 1920 1920 1 0 0 1
76 Dink Templeton United States 1920 1920 1 0 0 1
77 Raoul Thiercelin France 1920 1920 0 1 0 1
78 Charles Tilden United States 1920 1920 1 0 0 1
79 Heaton Wrenn United States 1920 1920 1 0 0 1
80 John Barnett Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
81 Phil Carmichael Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
82 Bob Craig Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
83 James Davey Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
84 Frederick Dean Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
85 Tom Griffin Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
86 Jack Hickey Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
87 Dick Jackett Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
88 Edward Jackett Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
89 E. J. Jones Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
90 Jimmy Jose Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
91 A. Lawry Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
92 Charlie Marshall Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
93 Mannie McArthur Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
94 Arthur McCabe Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
95 Paddy McCue Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
96 Chris McKivat Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
97 Charles McMurtrie Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
98 Syd Middleton Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
99 Tom Richards Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
100 Charles Russell Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
101 Bede Smith Australasia 1908 1908 1 0 0 1
102 Barney Solomon Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
103 Bert Solomon Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
104 Nicholas Tregurtha Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
105 John Trevaskis Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
106 Thomas Wedge Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
107 A. Willcocks Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
108 Arthur Wilson Great Britain 1908 1908 0 1 0 1
109 Vladimir Aïtoff France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
110 A. Albert France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
111 Albert Amrhein Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
112 Frank Bayliss Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
113 Hugo Betting Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
114 Léon Binoche France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
115 Henry Birtles Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
116 James Cantion Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
117 Jean Collas France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
118 Arthur Darby Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
119 Clement Deykin Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
120 Jean-Guy Gautier France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
121 Auguste Giroux France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
122 Charles Gondouin France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
123 Constantin Henriquez Haiti 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
124 Jacob Hermann Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
125 Jean Hervé France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
126 Willy Hofmeister Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
127 L. Hood Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
128 Hermann Kreuzer Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
129 Arnold Landvoigt Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
130 Victor Lardanchet France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
131 Hans Latscha Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
132 Hubert Lefèbvre France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
133 M. L. Logan Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
134 Herbert Loveitt Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
135 Erich Ludwig Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
136 Richard Ludwig Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
137 Fritz Müller Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
138 Herbert Nicol Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
139 Joseph Olivier France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
140 Alexandre Pharamond France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
141 Eduard Poppe Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
142 Frantz Reichel France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
143 Heinrich Reitz Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
144 André Rischmann France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
145 André Roosevelt United States 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
146 Émile Sarrade France 1900 1900 1 0 0 1
147 August Schmierer Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
148 V. Smith Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
149 Adolf Stockhausen Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
150 M. W. Talbott Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
151 Joseph Wallis Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
152 Georg Wenderoth Germany 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
153 Claud Whittindale Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
154 Raymond Whittindale Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
155 Frank Wilson Great Britain 1900 1900 0 1 0 1
                 

 

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