at the Games of the III Olympiad
VenueForest Park
Dates4–6 September
No. of events9
Competitors32 from 5 nations
← 1900
1908 →

At the 1904 Summer Olympics, nine swimming events were contested. The 1904 swimming competition was the only time in Olympic history that racing distances were measured in yards. The competition was held September 4–6, 1904. There was a total of 32 participants from 5 countries competing.[1]

The short sprint, at 50 yards (46 m), made its first Olympic appearance in 1904. The 100 returned after not being contested in 1900. The 1000 metres and 4000 metres were replaced with the much shorter 440 yards (400 m) and 1-mile (1,600 m) events, making the 200 the only freestyle event to be held for the second time in a row.

The 200 metre backstroke was shortened to 100 yards (91 m) and the team swimming event was replaced with a 4×50 yard freestyle relay. The obstacle course and underwater swimming events were eliminated, while breaststroke made its Olympic debut.

Medal table

1 Germany (GER)4228
2 United States (USA)33410
3 Hungary (HUN)2114
4 Australia (AUS)0314
5 Austria (AUT)0011
Totals (5 nations)99927

Medal summary

Games Gold Silver Bronze
50 yard freestyle
 Zoltán Halmay (HUN)  Scott Leary (USA)  Charles Daniels (USA)
100 yard freestyle
 Zoltán Halmay (HUN)  Charles Daniels (USA)  Scott Leary (USA)
220 yard freestyle
 Charles Daniels (USA)  Francis Gailey (AUS)[note 1]  Emil Rausch (GER)
440 yard freestyle
 Charles Daniels (USA)  Francis Gailey (AUS)[note 1]  Otto Wahle (AUT)
880 yard freestyle
 Emil Rausch (GER)  Francis Gailey (AUS)[note 1]  Géza Kiss (HUN)
1 mile freestyle
 Emil Rausch (GER)  Géza Kiss (HUN)  Francis Gailey (AUS)[note 1]
100 yard backstroke
 Walter Brack (GER)  Georg Hoffmann (GER)  Georg Zacharias (GER)
440 yard breaststroke
 Georg Zacharias (GER)  Walter Brack (GER)  Jam Handy (USA)
4×50 yard freestyle relay
 United States (USA)
New York Athletic Club
Joe Ruddy
Leo Goodwin
Louis Handley
Charles Daniels
 United States (USA)
Chicago Athletic Association
David Hammond
Bill Tuttle
Hugo Goetz
Raymond Thorne
 United States (USA)
Missouri Athletic Club
Amedee Reyburn
Gwynne Evans
Marquard Schwarz
Bill Orthwein
  1. ^ a b c d Gailey was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, but later emigrated to the United States and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1906: at the 1904 Olympics, he was sponsored by the Olympic Club of San Francisco. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had previously counted Gailey's four medals for the United States, but these are now counted as medals for Australia.

Participating nations

32 swimmers from 5 nations competed.


  • "Olympic Medal Winners". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 2008-03-19.
  • Mallon, Bill (February 1999). The 1904 Olympic Games: Results for All Competitors in All Events, With Commentary. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0550-3.
  • (ed.) James E. Sullivan. Spalding's Athletic Almanac for 1905 (PDF). New York: American Sports Publishing. pp. 229–231. Retrieved 2008-03-19. ((cite book)): |author= has generic name (help)
  • De Wael, Herman (2002-01-11). "Swimming 1904". Herman's Full Olympians. Retrieved 2008-03-19.