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Performance of the Russian Empire at the last Olympic Games in 1912

The Summer Olympics in Stockholm was the last Olympics in which the Russian Empire participated. Next time, as the Soviet Union, it is 40 years later that the athletes participated in the tournament.

The history of the Russian Empire’s Olympic movement is very short, and as expected, it ends in the dissolution of the empire itself. The country has only participated in three Olympics. In 1900, Russia participated in the second game of Paris for the first time, skipping the first game in the modern history of Athens.

Russian athletes then participated in the 1908 London Games, where figure skater Nikolai Panin won Russia’s first and only Olympic medal.

Nikolai Panin Kolomenkin, the first person from Russia to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games (photo at the 1908 London Olympics)

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And finally, Russia participated in the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. This was the last tournament. This is a picture of Team Russia at the Olympic Games held 110 years ago.

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The opening ceremony was held on July 6, 1912 at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium, which was specially constructed for the Games. The Swedish royal family participated in this event and saw all national teams marching throughout the stadium.

Russian athletes at the opening ceremony

Russian athletes at the opening ceremony

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The Russian team includes 181 male athletes, many from St. Petersburg, from Estonia and the Baltic region of Livonia, which was then part of the Russian Empire. At the same time, Finland, which is also part of Russia, participated in the competition separately.

Opening ceremony

Opening ceremony

Library of Congress

The team was led by the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Cousin of Nicholas II of Russia. The prince himself participated in the equestrian competition of the tournament in both individual and team show jumping competitions. (Later, he will be notorious for being a collusion Grigori Rasputin’s Murder)..

Around 1911, Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich of Russia

Around 1911, Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich of Russia

Library of Congress

Team Russia did not work very well in the tournament, winning only five silver and bronze medals, but not one gold medal. By the way, this time, figure skating champion Nikolai Panin of the London Olympic Games participated as a shooter and remained in 8th place.

Estonian rower Mart Kusik won a bronze medal at a single skull event, and Latvian sports shooter Harald Blouse won a bronze medal in trap shooting (he also participated in the tournament as a track runner). The bronze medal was also won by a group of seven Russian seafarers (Esper Beloselsky, Ernest Brasche, Karl Lindholm, Nikolay Pushnitsky, Aleksandr Rodionov, Iosif Shomaker, Philipp Strauch). They came in third on a 10-meter yacht and made concessions only to Sweden and Finland.

The silver medal was won by a team of four Russian athletes (Amoskash, Nikolai Melnitsky, Grigori Pantereimonov, Pavelboiroschnikov) in a 30-meter rapid-fire pistol shot.

The Russian soccer (soccer) team (pictured below) finished in 6th place after losing 2-1 to Finland in the quarterfinals. Then, in a so-called “comfort tournament,” Russia’s soccer team Russia suffered the worst defeat in history, losing to Germany at 0:16.

Russian soccer team

Russian soccer team

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But one episode of Team Russia at the 1912 Olympics was really worth it. An Estonian wrestler named Martin Klein won the silver medal after holding up in the longest wrestling match ever recorded. He fought against world champion Alfred Asikainen for a total of 11 hours and 40 minutes.

Martin Klein (in a white suit) vs. Alfred Ashikainen

Martin Klein (in a white suit) vs. Alfred Ashikainen

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After such an exhausted performance, he couldn’t compete well the next day and lost potential money. Unlike other athletes in the Russian Empire, he continued to talk about the Olympics. In 1919 he became a wrestling coach, preparing an Estonian wrestler for the 1920 Olympics.

The poor performance of Russian athletes did not satisfy Prince Dmitry, who planned to hold an annual national convention to prepare for the future Olympics … and the next two years, 1913. In Kyiv and in 1914, in Riga, which was part of the Russian Empire at the time.

Grand Duke Dmitry emigrated from Russia after the 1917 Revolution. It is depicted on the right at the Polo de Baileis Coupe Carlton Games on August 5, 1928.

Grand Duke Dmitry emigrated from Russia after the 1917 Revolution. It is depicted on the right at the Polo de Baileis Coupe Carlton Games on August 5, 1928.

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Then World War I broke out and all sporting events were hampered. The next Olympic Games were held in Antwerp in 1920, but Russia was not invited to be involved in the revolution and civil war because the world was not aware of the power of the Bolsheviks. The Soviet Union was formed in 1922 and as a result decided not to participate in “capitalist” sports competitions and arranged its own “Spartakiad” for international workers and communists. The Soviet Union first participated in the Olympics after World War II. In 1952, Soviet players headed for the Helsinki Games.

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http://www.swedennews.net/news/272547230/how-the-russian-empire-performed-at-its-last-olympics-in-1912 Performance of the Russian Empire at the last Olympic Games in 1912

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