From Doughboy to Olympiad

The National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial currently has an exhibit titled “World War I All-Stars: Sports & the Inter-Allied Games” and here’s the scoop on one of its stars:

Army Lieutenant Charles Paddock gained his first public acclaim as a speed runner at the Inter-Allied Games in 1919. He won the 100 and 200 meter sprints and set the world record at the Games in the 200 meters. A trademark move of Paddocks was the “flying finish” where he would leap about twelve feet from the finish line and break the tape while in the air.

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Charles Paddock at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium

After WWI, Paddock went on to lasting fame in the 1920 and 1924 Olympics. It is generally acknowledged that the term “World’s Fastest Human” was coined for Paddock when he set five world records in 1921.

Here’s a webite with more about Paddock:

www.hickoksports.com/biograph/paddockcharlie.shtml

Here’s a link to video of the Parade of Nations at the Inter-Allied Games, held in Paris, June 22 to July 6, 1919:

http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675051365_Inter-Allied-games_athletes-march_Pershing-Stadium_opening-ceremony

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