| Event type

1 mile Freestyle, Men

Date24 April 1906
LocationOrmos Falirou, Peiraias
Participants24 from 10 countries
FormatFinal only.

The 1-mile freestyle was held on the morning of 24 April [11 April]. The favorite was certainly John Jarvis of Great Britain, who was one of that country’s greatest distance swimmers ever, having won 24 ASA titles over distances from 440 yards to “long distance” between 1898 and 1906. Jarvis had also won two gold medals at the 1900 Olympics in Paris, over 1,000 and 4,000 metres. However, he finished only second, being soundly defeated by almost two minutes by his countryman, Henry Taylor. The world record in 1906 was held by Barney Kieran with 23:16.8.

Ian Buchanan, the British Olympic historian, has noted, “Taylor was the surprise of the Games and won two gold medals, although he had yet to win an ASA title. On his return home he set about remedying this omission and by the end of the season he was the British champion of 440-yards, 500-yards, 880-yards and 1-mile. His winning time of 11:25.4 for the 880-yards was recognized as the inaugural world record and he claimed further world records at the 1908 Olympics in the 800-meters and 1500-meters. Overall, Taylor won 15 ASA titles, the last being the long distance event in 1920 when he was 35 years old and still playing water polo for England.” In all, Taylor had a tremendous Olympic career. He won eight medals and four gold medals overall. His Olympic career began in 1906 where, in addition to his gold in the 1-mile freestyle, he added a silver in the 400 metre freestyle and a bronze in the relay. In 1908 he won gold medals in the 400 metre freestyle, 1,500 metres freestyle and the 4×200 metre relay. He added bronze medals in 1912 and 1920 in the 4×200 relay.

At the half-way mark, the swimmers in this race were placed as follows: 1) Taylor 12:20, 2) Jarvis 12:38, 3) Otto Scheff 12:54, 4) Max Pape 13:40, 5) Oscar Schiele 13:50, and 6) Ernst Bahnmeyer, 13:51. The top German hope, Emil Rausch, was a sidestroke swimmer, and was hindered by swimming in the bay and the high waves which impeded his progress.

1Henry TaylorGBR28:28.0Gold
2John JarvisGBR30:07.6Silver
3Otto ScheffAUT30:53.4Bronze
4Max PapeGER32:34.6
5Emil RauschGER32:40.6
6Ernst BahnmeyerGER33:29.4
7Oskar SchieleGER33:52.4
8Leopold MayerAUT34:41.0
9Joseph SpencerUSA34:50.0
10Simon OrlikAUT36:25.0
11Hjalmar SaxtorphDEN38:24.0
DNFAlbert BouguinFRA
DNFStanley CooperGBR
DNFCecil HealyAUS
DNFVasilios LeontopoulosGRE
DNFCharles NoreliusSWE
DNFPaul RadmilovicGBR
DNFNils RegnellSWE
DNFGeorgios SoulisGRE
DNFSpyridon TzetzosGRE
DNFPaul VasseurFRA
DNFGustaf WretmanSWE
DNFMario AlbertiniITA
DNFEdmond BernhardtAUT
DNSOtto SatzingerAUT
DNS HochermannAUT
DNSEric ForsythGBR
DNSGeorg HoffmannGER
DNSHeinrich ParizotGER
DNSP. ParaskevopoulosGRE
DNSAlfréd HajósHUN
DNSAlajos BrucknerHUN
DNSGunnar WennerströmSWE
DNSCharlie DanielsUSA
DNSMarquard SchwarzUSA