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Tom Curtis

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameThomas Pelham "Tom"•Curtis
Used nameTom•Curtis
Born9 January 1873 in San Francisco, California (USA)
Died23 May 1944 in Nahant, Massachusetts (USA)
Measurements176 cm / 66 kg
AffiliationsBoston AA, Boston (USA)
NOC United States


Although Tom Curtis never won any major championship and was not even awarded his letter at Harvard, he is assured of a place in sporting history as the winner of the first Olympic hurdles title. In Athens, he narrowly defeated the Englishman, Grantley Goulding, and although Goulding was a superior hurdler, Curtis’ speed on the flat took him to the tape a yard ahead of the only other finalist. Curtis also won a heat in the 100m at the Olympics, but did not contest the final. In World War I, Curtis commanded the Massachusetts ambulance corps and he later became an executive with the Lord Electric Company of Massachusetts.

Personal Bests: 100 – 12.2 (1896); 110H – 17.6 (1896).


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1896 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Tom Curtis
100 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 h2 r1/2
110 metres Hurdles, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
Long Jump, Men (Olympic) DNS

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1896 Summer Olympics 6 April 1896 Athletics 100 metres, Men Round One, Heat Two 12.2 1
1896 Summer Olympics 7 April 1896 Athletics 110 metres Hurdles, Men Round One, Heat Two 18 1
1896 Summer Olympics 10 April 1896 Athletics 110 metres Hurdles, Men Final 17.6 1