Denis Horgan

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameDenis•Horgan
Used nameDenis•Horgan
Born18 May 1871 in Fermoyle, Clonmeen, Cork (IRL)
Died2 June 1922 in Crookstown, Cork (IRL)
Measurements178 cm / 106 kg
AffiliationsI-AAC, Queens, New York (USA)
NOC Great Britain
Nationality Ireland
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 1
Bronze 0
Total 1


Denis Horgan made his only Olympic appearance in 1908 when, at the age of 37, he took the silver medal in the shot put. Had he competed in any of the earlier Olympics, he likely would have one at least one gold medal, as he dominated in the event around the turn of the century. Apart from the fact that he was past his best at the 1908 Olympics, he was still recovering from a fractured skull sustained the previous year when he was savagely attached when breaking up a street brawl while performing his duties as a patrolman with the New York Police Department. Because of his injuries, he was pensioned off by the NYPD in November and returned home where he continued his athletic career. He won the AAA title 13 times, was the Irish champion 17 times and in 1900 won the AAU title in New York. After winning his last AAA title in 1912 he was invited to join the Olympic team for Stockholm but he declined and his place was taken by fellow-Irishman, Paddy Quinn. Horgan was also an accomplished hammer thrower and although he never won the AAA title, he placed second at the Championships no less than seven times.

Personal Bests: SP – 14.88 (48-10) (1904); HT – 42.11 (138-2) (1909).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics GBR IRL Denis Horgan
Shot Put, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
Javelin Throw, Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS