Stan Rowley

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameStanley Rupert "Stan"•Rowley
Used nameStan•Rowley
Born11 September 1876 in Young, New South Wales (AUS)
Died1 April 1924 in Manly, New South Wales (AUS)
Measurements178 cm / 71 kg
AffiliationsSydney Harriers, Sydney (AUS)
NOC Australia Great Britain
Nationality Australia
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 3
Total 4


Stan Rowley was an outstanding schoolboy sprinter at Sydney Boys’ High School, and as a 19-year-old finished second in the 100 yards at the 1895 Australian Championships, winning the title the following year. In 1897 and 1899 he won both sprints at the Australasian Championships, a bi-annual meeting that brought together the best athletes from Australia and New Zealand; at the second meeting, at Brisbane in November 1899, he equaled the Australian 100 yards record of 9.9 and set a new Australian record of 22.2 for 220 yards.

Although the Australian authorities decided not to send a team to the 1900 Paris Olympics, sufficient funds were raised by private subscription to enable Rowley to go to Europe. Taking five months leave from his job as a stockkeeper, he arrived in London in June and, after reaching the final of the AAA 100 yards, the English Association agreed to pay his expenses to Paris. At the Olympics, he finished third in each of the three sprints. Medals were not awarded in all events at the 1900 Games and Rowley was presented with a carriage clock, a ladies’ purse, and a silver paper knife. He also ran in the 5,000 metres team race, through some unusual circumstances.

The French officials insisted that although only four runners were to count in the scoring, teams must consist of five runners, each of whom must complete the race. With Alfred Tysoe, Charles Bennett, Jack Rimmer, and Sidney Robinson available, Britain’s victory seemed assured if only they could find a fifth runner. Apparently the three British marathon runners were not available. The Anglo-Indian sprinter Norman Pritchard was asked to make up the team but declined because of injury; and the French officials ruled out the Canadian winner of the steeplechase, George Orton; although they accepted the entry of Stan Rowley. The authorities apparently rejected Orton but accepted Rowley because he was entered from the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA). When the event finally started, Rowley jogged the first lap, then started walking and the officials, recognizing the absurdity of the situation, permitted him to retire.

Rowley finally arrived back in Sydney in October and announced his retirement. After a brief return to racing in 1905, he served as honorary treasurer of the Australian AAU from 1908 to 1924. As a young man, he was an active rugby footballer and in his later years a keen golfer and cricketer, being honored with membership of the exclusive cricket club, I Zingari.

Personal Bests: 100y – 9.9 (1899); 100 – 10.9e (1900); 220y – 22.2 (1899).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal Nationality As
1900 Summer Olympics Athletics AUS Stan Rowley
60 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
200 metres, Men (Olympic) 3 Bronze
400 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
100 metres, Handicap, Men (Olympic (non-medal)) 2 h1 r2/3
Athletics GBR AUS Stan Rowley
5,000 metres, Team, Men (Olympic) Amateur Athletic Association 1 Gold