France at the
1896 Summer Olympics
Flag of France.svg
IOC codeFRA
NOCFrench National Olympic and Sports Committee
Websitewww.franceolympique.com (in French)
in Athens, Greece
6 – 15 April 1896
Competitors12 in 6 sports and 18 events
Medals
Ranked 4th
Gold
5
Silver
4
Bronze
2
Total
11
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)
Other related appearances
1906 Intercalated Games

France competed at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 6 to 15 April 1896. French athletes had appeared in every Summer Olympic Games of the modern era, alongside Australia, Great Britain, and Greece. France won the fourth-most gold medals with 5 and the fourth-most total medals with 11. Cycling was the sport in which the French competitors had the most success, as they completely dominated the field. The French team had 27 entries in 18 events, winning 11 medals.

Medalists

Further information: 1896 Summer Olympics medal table and List of 1896 Summer Olympics medal winners

Medal Name Sport Event Date
 Gold Paul Masson Cycling Men's 10 km April 11
 Gold Paul Masson Cycling Men's time trial April 11
 Gold Paul Masson Cycling Men's sprint April 11
 Gold Léon Flameng Cycling Men's 100 km April 8
 Gold Eugène-Henri Gravelotte Fencing Men's foil April 7
 Silver Alexandre Tuffère Athletics Men's triple jump April 6
 Silver Léon Flameng Cycling Men's 10 km April 11
 Silver Henri Callot Fencing Men's foil April 7
 Silver Joanni Perronet Fencing Men's masters foil April 7
 Bronze Albin Lermusiaux Athletics Men's 1500 m April 7
 Bronze Léon Flameng Cycling Men's sprint April 11
Medals by sport
Sport 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Total
Cycling 4 1 1 6
Fencing 1 2 0 3
Athletics 0 1 1 2
Total 5 4 2 11

Multiple medalists

The following competitors won multiple medals at the 1896 Olympic Games.

Name Medal Sport Event
Paul Masson  Gold
 Gold
 Gold
Cycling Men's track time trial
Men's sprint
Men's 10 kilometres
Léon Flameng  Gold
 Silver
 Bronze
Cycling Men's 100 kilometres
Men's 10 kilometres
Men's sprint

Competitors

Athletics

Main article: Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics

The five French athletes won 2 medals between them. Tuffère appears to have entered the 100 metres but not started; some sources have André Tournois in the first heat of the 100 metres instead of Grisel.[1][2][3][4] Grisel entered the triple jump, but did not start.

Track & road events

Athlete Event Heat Final
Time Rank Time Rank
Adolphe Grisel 100 m Unknown 4 Did not advance
Alexandre Tuffèri Did not start Did not advance
Adolphe Grisel 400 m Unknown 3-4 Did not advance
Georges de la Nézière Did not start Did not advance
Frantz Reichel 1:02.3 3 Did not advance
Albin Lermusiaux 800 m 2:16.6 1 Q Did not start
Georges de la Nézière Unknown 3 Did not advance
Frantz Reichel Did not start Did not advance
Albin Lermusiaux 1500 m 4:36.0 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)
Georges de la Nézière Did not start
Frantz Reichel 110 m hurdles Unknown 3 Did not advance
Albin Lermusiaux 1500 m Did not finish

Field events

Athlete Event Final
Distance Position
Adolphe Grisel Men's long jump 5.83 5
Alexandre Tuffèri 5.98 4
Adolphe Grisel Men's triple jump Did not start
Alexandre Tuffèri 12.70 2nd place, silver medalist(s)
Louis Adler Men's shot put Did not start
Adolphe Grisel Did not start
Louis Adler Men's discus throw Did not start
Adolphe Grisel Unknown 5-9

Cycling

Main article: Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Leon Flameng and Paul Masson
Leon Flameng and Paul Masson

France dominated the cycling events, taking 4 of the 6 gold medals. Three were won by Paul Masson who won every event he entered, with Léon Flameng adding the fourth as well as a silver and a bronze. One of the two won each event that a Frenchman contested; the two gold medals won by other countries were in competitions that Masson and Flameng did not enter.

Track

Athlete Event Time / Distance Rank
Paul Masson Men's time trial 24.0 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Léon Flameng Men's sprint Unknown 3rd place, bronze medalist(s)
Paul Masson 4:58.2 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Léon Flameng 10 km 17:54.8 2nd place, silver medalist(s)
Paul Masson 17:54.2 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Léon Flameng 100 km 3:08:19.2 1st place, gold medalist(s)
Paul Masson Did not start

Fencing

Main article: Fencing at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Group of French and Greek fencers at 1896 Summer Olympics
Group of French and Greek fencers at 1896 Summer Olympics
The final sword match 1896 Summer Olympics
The final sword match 1896 Summer Olympics

The French fencers were held in high regard prior to the Games; Gravelotte and Callot validated those expectations in the amateur foil competition. Each went undefeated in their pool, advancing to face each other in the final. Gravelotte won the first-to-3 bout. Surprisingly, however, Perronet lost to the Greek Leonidas Pyrgos in the only match of the masters competition.

Athlete Event Round 1 Final
MW ML Rank Opposition
Score
Rank
Henri Callot Men's foil 3 0 1 Q  Gravelotte (FRA)
L 1–3
2nd place, silver medalist(s)
Eugène-Henri Gravelotte 3 0 1 Q  Callot (FRA)
W 3–1
1st place, gold medalist(s)
Henri de Laborde 1 2 3 Did not advance 5
Henri Callot Men's masters foil  Pyrgos (GRE)
L 1–3
2nd place, silver medalist(s)

Gymnastics

Main article: Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Grisel competed in the parallel bars in the gymnastics program. The competitions had no formal scoring, the judges merely selecting the winner and runner-up. Grisel was neither in this competition.

Artistic

Athlete Event Result Rank
Adolphe Grisel Parallel bars Unknown 3–18

Shooting

Main article: Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Lermusiaux entered the military rifle event in the shooting program. His score and placing are unknown.

Athlete Event Hits Score Rank
Albin Lermusiaux 200 m military rifle Unknown Unknown 14–41

Tennis

Main article: Tennis at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Only the first initial and last name of the French tennis player in 1896 is known. He was defeated in the first round of the singles tournament.

Athlete Event First round Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
Opposition
score
Opposition
score
Opposition
score
Opposition
score
Rank
J. Defert Singles  Kasdaglis (GRE)
L
Did not advance =8

References

  1. ^ Butler, Maynard. The Olympic Games. In Mallon & Widlund, pp. 37–41.
  2. ^ Ekkehard zur Megede : The history of Olympic athletics. Volume 1: 1896-1936. Verlag Bartels & Wernitz KG, Berlin, 2nd edition 1970.
  3. ^ "100 metres, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  4. ^ "JEUX OLYMPIQUES" (PDF). athle.com. Retrieved 4 March 2017.