Jim Lightbody

Biographical information

Medals OG IG
Gold 3 1
Silver 1 1
Bronze 0 0
Total 4 2
RolesCompeted 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 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 NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1904 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Jim Lightbody
800 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
1,500 metres, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
2,590 metres Steeplechase, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
4 miles, Team, Men (Olympic) Chicago Athletic Association 2 Silver
1906 Intercalated Games Athletics USA Jim Lightbody
400 metres, Men (Intercalated) 2 h3 r1/3
800 metres, Men (Intercalated) 2 Silver
1,500 metres, Men (Intercalated) 1 Gold
1908 Summer Olympics Athletics USA Jim Lightbody
400 metres, Men (Olympic) DNS
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


Previously incorrectly listed as been born on 15 March 1882.