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George Orton

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 1
Total 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games, Competed in Olympic Games (non-medal events)
Full nameGeorge Washington F.•Orton
Used nameGeorge•Orton
Born10 January 1873 in Strathroy, Ontario (CAN)
Died25 June 1958 in Laconia, New Hampshire (USA)
Measurements169 cm / 65 kg
AffiliationsToronto Lacrosse and Athletics Association
NOC(s) Canada


George Orton was Canada’s first Olympic medallist and Olympic champion, although this wasn’t immediately recognized. National teams did not exist in 1900, and Orton ran for an American university (Penn) and was therefore assumed to be American. While also a soccer and ice hockey player, his greatest strength was distance running, and between 1893 and 1901 he won a plethora of American AAU titles in the mile, the steeple chase, the cross country and the 10 mile road race, in addition to British and Canadian championships. At the 1900 Games, he even finished third in a hurdles event, in addition to his title in the 2500 m steeplechase. He might have won the 4000 m steeple too, had it not been for an intestinal virus. After his athletic career, Orton kept involved in sports at Penn and in Philadelphia in general. Among others, he worked as the university’s track coach, co-wrote History of Athletics at Pennsylvania and was director of the municipal stadium.

Personal Best: 400H – 58.9e (1900).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1900 Summer Olympics Athletics 1,500 metres, Men Olympic DNS Representing Canada    
  200 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic DNS
  400 metres Hurdles, Men Olympic 3 Bronze
  2,500 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  4,000 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 5
  1,500 metres, Handicap, Men Olympic (non-medal) AC


Newspaper sources also give his date of death as 24th June or 26th June. The 26th June is least likely to be true.