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Jim Lightbody

Biographical information

Medals OG IG
Gold 3 1
Silver 1 1
Bronze 0 0
Total 4 2
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games, Competed in Intercalated Games
Full nameJames Davies "Jim"•Lightbody
Used nameJim•Lightbody
Born16 March 1882 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (USA)
Died2 March 1953 in Charleston, South Carolina (USA)
Measurements173 cm / 61 kg
AffiliationsChicago Maroons, Chicago (USA) / Chicago AA, Chicago (USA)
NOC(s) United States


With three gold medals, James Lightbody was the outstanding middle distance runner at the 1904 Olympics. Although his winning time of 4:05.4 in the 1,500 m was said to be a new world record, it was vastly inferior in quality to Tom Conneff’s amateur mile record of 4:15.6. After an 880y/mile double at the 1905 AAU championships, Lightbody successfully defended his Olympic 1,500 m title in 1906, but failed by a narrow margin to retain his 800m crown. In 1908 he made his third Olympic appearance, competing in the 800m, 1500m, and steeplechase, but he was eliminated in the heats of all three events. Lightbody attended the University of Chicago and later represented the Chicago AA. After the Games of London he moved for some years to Berlin where he became German Champion over 800 and 1500 in 1910 and 1911.

Personal Bests: 400 – 53.0 (1906); 800 – 1:56.0 (1904); 1500 – 4:05.4 (1904).


Games Discipline (Sport) Event Status Team Pos Details
1904 Summer Olympics Athletics 800 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold Representing United States    
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  2,590 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 1 Gold
  4 mile, Team, Men Olympic Chicago Athletic Association 2 Silver
1906 Intercalated Games Athletics 400 metres, Men Intercalated 2 h3 r1/3 Representing United States    
  800 metres, Men Intercalated 2 Silver
  1,500 metres, Men Intercalated 1 Gold
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics 400 metres, Men Olympic DNS Representing United States    
  800 metres, Men Olympic 4 h1 r1/2
  1,500 metres, Men Olympic 2 h1 r1/2
  3,200 metres Steeplechase, Men Olympic 2 h6 r1/2

Olympic Records

Records may have been broken subsequently during the same competition.
Games Date Sport Event Phase Mark Pos
1904 Summer Olympics 1 September 1904 Athletics 800 metres, Men Final Standings 1:56.0 1
1904 Summer Olympics 3 September 1904 Athletics 1,500 metres, Men Final Standings 4:05.4 WR 1


Previously incorrectly listed as been born on 15 March 1882.