Lou Handley

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 2
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameLouis de Breda "Lou"•Handley
Used nameLou•Handley
Born14 February 1874 in Roma, Roma (ITA)
Died28 December 1956 in New York, New York (USA)
AffiliationsNYAC, New York (USA)
NOC United States


Lou Handley left Italy as a 22-year-old and set up business as an importer. He joined the New York AC, where he was active in many sports and his multiple talents were seen to advantage when he won a “medley” race which consisted of successive quartermiles of walking, running, horseback riding, cycling, rowing, and swimming. In second place in this bizarre competition was Joe Ruddy, who was a teammate of Handley’s on the winning 1904 Olympic relay team. Lou Handley was also an outstanding water polo player and was on the New York AC team which won all but one of the AAU titles-both indoors and outdoors – between 1898 and 1911. When the US “softball” rules were dropped in 1911 in favor of international regulations, Handley retired from water polo but continued his sporting interests as a yachtsman and field dog trainer. He later became a noted coach and journalist. He was the first official coach to a women’s U.S. Olympic swim team and, in addition to publishing five books on the sport, he contributed the swimming section to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1904 Summer Olympics Swimming (Aquatics) USA Lou Handley
50 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS
100 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS
220 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS
440 yards Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNS
1 mile Freestyle, Men (Olympic) DNF
4 × 50 yards Freestyle Relay, Men (Olympic) New York Athletic Club #1 1 Gold
Water Polo (Aquatics) USA Lou Handley
Water Polo, Men (Olympic) New York Athletic Club 1 Gold