1912 Stockholm Games- George S. Patton

 

The man who is arguably the greatest general in United States history- George S. Patton was a competitor in the Modern Pentathlon at the Stockholm Games. Patton was 26 at the time.

This was the first Modern Pentathlon in the Olympic Games. Patton would finish 5th place. He was 7th out of 37 in the 3oo meters. 4th out of 29 in fencing, 6th in the equstrian steeplechase, 3rd in the 4 kilometer cross country run, in pistol shooting he was 20th of 32. There was controversy in the pistol shooting that probably cost him a medal.

Patton claimed that holes in the paper from his earlier shots were so large that some of his later shots passed through them. There was a protest but the judges upheld their ruling. Patton never complained or made excuses. On this issue his only comments were as follows—

“The high spirit of sportsmanship and generosity manifested throughout speaks volumes for the character of the officers of the present day. There was not a single incident of a protest or any unsportsmanlike quibbling or fighting for points which I may say, marred some of the other civilian competitions at the Olympic Games. Each man did his best and took what fortune sent them like a true soldier, and at the end we all felt more like good friends and comrades than rivals in a severe competition, yet this spirit of friendship in no manner detracted from the zeal with which all strove for success.”