1911 MAG World Championships

1911: Competing in the Dark at the World Championships in Turin

The 1911 International Tournament was an unfortunate series of events.

Several gymnasts were injured during the competition, and despite their injuries, they continued to compete with broken limbs and bandaged heads. 

Rain pushed the apparatus portion of the competition indoors. When it came time for the athletics portion in the afternoon, Cupérus, the FIG President, wanted the athletes to compete in inclement weather rather than end the competition or finish it the next day.

Because of the rain delay, several gymnasts had to sprint 100 m in near darkness.

One more important note: Until the 1948 Olympic Games, teams could bring their own apparatus to competitions. That tradition started in 1911 with the Czech Sokols.

The Events | Scoring | The Judges | Results | The Perfect Scores | Bringing Your Own Equipment | Competition Report | Appendix: Table for Track and Field Points

The Events

Ensemble Routines:

  • 3 compulsory floor routines (without portable hand devices)

Compulsory Routines:

  • Pommel Horse
  • Rings
  • Parallel Bars
  • High Bar

Optional Routines:

  • Pommel Horse
  • Rings
  • Parallel Bars
  • High Bar

Track and Field:

  • 100m
    • 0 points: 15 seconds
    • 15 points: 12 seconds
  • Pole Vault
    • 1 point: 1.70 m (5’6.9″)
    • 15 points: 2.50 m (8’2.4″)
  • Shot put (7.25 kg) with each arm
    • 2 points: 7 m (22’11.6″)
    • 15 points: 15 m (49’2.6″)


  • Rope climb (8m or 26’3″)
    • 0 points: 12 seconds
    • 15 points: 9 seconds

How Did the Scoring Work?

The team score was out of 1126 points.

Ensemble routines

  • 2 points: Comportment of the team
  • 180 points: 3 routines x 10 points x 6 gymnasts

Apparatus routines

  • 8 points: Team comportment: 4 apparatus x 2 points
  • 48 points: Arrival to apparatus: 4 apparatus x 6 gymnasts x 2 routines (comp. and opt.) x 1 point
  • 48 points: Departure from apparatus: 4 apparatus x 6 gymnasts x 2 routines (comp. + opt.) x 1 point
  • 480 points: Performances: 4 apparatus x 2 routines x 6 gymnasts x 10 points


  • 90 points: Pole vault: 6 gymnasts x 15 points
  • 90 points: Shot put: 6 gymnasts x 15 points
  • 90 points: Rope climb: 6 gymnasts x 15 points
  • 90 points: 100 m: 6 gymnasts x 15 points

Total: 1,126 points

Note: The comportment points were taken seriously. As we’ll see below, the French team lost points for competing barefoot on pommel horse.

The scale used for both the apparatus and ensemble routines was the following:

0 points for non-execution,
2 points for insufficient execution,
4 points for mediocre execution,
6 points for satisfactory execution,
8 points for good execution,
10 points for perfect execution.

Decimals of 0.25, 0.50, and 0.75 are allowed.

Slovenski Sokol, 1910, 7-8

0 točk za neizvedeno vajo,
2 točki za nedostatno izvedeno vajo,
4 točke „ srednje „ „
6 točk „ povoljno „ „
8 točk „ dobro „ „
10 točk „ dovršeno „ „

Dopustni odlomki so: 0,75, 0,50 in 0,25 točke.

For the complete athletics point tables, see the appendix.

What were the three preliminary ensemble routines?

The Italian Federation printed them on postcards.

1911 Preliminary Exercises

Judging Assignments

Preliminary Ensemble Exercises

1. Oskar Delaive (Belgium).

2. Očenášek (Czech).

3. Lalu (France).

4. Šulce (Croatia).

5. Boiti (Italy).

6. Krummer (Luxemburg).

Parallel Bars: Wilmet (Belgium), Směrtnik (Slovenia). 

High Bar: Wachmar (France). Havel (Czech).

Pommel Horse: Radici (Italy), Kubíček (for Croatia, born Czech).

Rings: André Bordaug (Luxemburg), Drenik (Slovenia).

Pole Vault: Delaive (Belgium), Očenášek (Czech).

Shot Put: Lalu (France), Šulce (Croatia).

Rope Climb: Boiti (Italy), Kanivé (Luxemburg), Jonescu (Romania), Smertnik (Slovenia).

Sprint: Wilmet (Belgium), Havel (Czech), Wachmar (France), Kubíček (Croatia).

Source: 1911, Sokol, 6

Check out the section about parallel bars to get a glimpse into how judging worked in 1911.


100 mTotal
Source: Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Romania competed just to see what other countries were up to.

Note: This was a team competition. If there had been individual awards, Steiner of Czechoslovakia would have won with a 168.25.

So, if you’re keeping track of the results from before World War I…


The Perfect Scores

The maximum score on each event was 24, and the following gymnasts scored a perfect 24.

  • Giorgio Zampori, Italy, 24.00, Parallel Bars
  • Josef Czada, Czech, 24.00, High Bar
  • Ferdinand Steiner, Czech, 24.00, Rings
  • Osvaldo Palazzi, Italy, 24.00, Pommel Horse

Source: Olympische Turnkunst, August 1967

Other gymnasts scored a 23.75, which meant that they scored a perfect 12 on either their optional or compulsory routines. That includes:

  • Dominique Follacci, France, Rings
  • Pietro Bianchi, Italy, Rings
  • Antoine Costa, France, Rings
  • Dominique Follacci, France, Parallel bars
  • Marco Torrès, France, High bar

Bringing Your Own Equipment to the World Championships

The 1911 International Tournament started a trend that lasted through the 1948 Olympics. That trend: teams could bring their own apparatus to the competitions as long as their apparatus met the norms established in the rules.

The trendsetters: The Czechs who brought their own high bar and pommel horse to the 1911 International Tournament.

But it wasn’t without problems…

The team’s equipment was supposed to arrive ahead of the competition.

Finally, the luggage — the high bar and the pommel horse were sent in advance — and our expedition will arrive at the station on May 9 at noon.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Finally, the luggage – the high bar and the pommel were sent in advance – and our expedition will arrive at the station on May 9 at noon.

But it didn’t arrive on time, and the mayor of Turin had to find the equipment.

The team longed for our equipment, the Italians had only iron bars, three of ours were not used to it. If our bar didn’t come, it meant a significant loss of points. — Only after a few urgent interventions of the mayor found out from the transport company “Gontran,” that the equipment was at customs. The matter was settled immediately and the equipment delivered to the competition site on Friday night. We exhaled (several times already).

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Družstvo toužilo na naše nářadí, Italové měli pouze železné hrazdy, tři z našich nebyli zvykli na ni. Kdyby nepřišla naše hrazda, znamenalo ta značnou ztrátu bodů. — Teprve po několika urgencích br. starosty vypátrala dopravní firma »Gontran«, že nářadí jest na celnici. Okamžitě byla věc vyřízena a nářadí dodáno v pátek večer na závodiště. Oddychli jsme si (již po několikáté).

Despite the problems, the Czech team was able to install its apparatus.

As the last teams finished preliminary exercises, we heard the sound of batons bashing on iron. Ours (Hvězda, Táborek, Dr. Scheiner and others) built a high bar, for which they searched in vain for solid ground. Finally, with a combination of crossed poles, they secured it, but they still had to watch over it. The erection of our own bar was an advantage for ours, but the fatal circumstance that the bar was used by the Belgians became a disadvantage.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Mezitim co dokončovala poslední družstva prostná, slyšeli jsme na dvoře rány palicí na železo. To naši (Hvězda, Táborek, dr. Scheiner a ostatní) stavěli hrazdu, pro níž marně hledali pevnou půdu. Konečně jakousi kombinací skřížených kůlů ji upevnili, ale hlídati ji musili stále. Postavení vlastní hrazdy bvlo výhodou pro naše, které však osudnou okolností, že použili jí Belgičané, stala se nevýhodou.

But, as we’ll see, their high bar became a communal high bar, and the preparation techniques of other countries created problems.

Why did countries bring their own apparatus? Well, there weren’t international norms. For example, the parallel bars in Turin couldn’t be adjusted.

The biggest problems were with parallel bars, the domestic invention, which could not be increased in height, and the width adjustment was rather cumbersome.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Největší notíže byly s bradly, domácí to vynález, které se nedaly zvyšovat a šířku říditi bylo možno jen těžkopádně.

Competition Report

General Commentary | Pre-Competition Training | Ensemble Routines | High Bar | Parallel Bars | Pommel Horse | Rings | Athletics | Rain Delay and Debate | Shot Put | Rope Climb | Pole Vault | 100 m

General Team Commentary

The Czechs saw this as a battle for all Slavs.

The Czech team was not only competing for the Czechs, as it was the most advanced, it was about the championship of Slavdom in physical education. For matches of this kind are the competitions of a single team, but this team represents the flowering of the organization from which it came, that is, the organization itself, in turn, represents the prowess of the nation that created it. It is not possible for top competitors to come out of a poor unsupportive environment.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

České družstvo nebilo se jen za Čechy, ono jako nejvyspělejší, bilo se o přebornictví Slovanstva v tělesné výchově. Neboť zápasy toho druhu jsou sice závody jediného družstva, ale toto družstvo představuje výkvět organisace, z které vyšlo, tedy ji samu, organisace pak zase představuje zdatnost národa, který ji vytvořil. Není možno, aby z chatrného prostředí vyšli borci neobyčejní.

The Czechs believed that they had to win.

[I]f they did not know that they are not competing for themselves but the whole Sokol nation — that they follow the higher order of the nation — accompanied by its love, trust, — but also ardent expectation — victory. —You have to win. The words, though unspoken, still sounded in our souls. We heard them thumping in the beating of the train wheels, we read them in the clouds floating over the Garda Mountains, we carried them in the whirlwind of the streets of Turin, and they sensed them trembling in all the Sokol hearts at the moment of the start of the competition. — So it is ours, we devote it to our people on the altar.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

[K]dyby nevěděli, že nejdou v zápas jen za sebe, nýbrž, že posílá je celé Sokolstvo — že jdou jako z vyššího rozkazu národa — provázeni jeho láskou, důvěrou, — ale i žhoucím očekáváním — vítězství. — Musíte zvítězit. To slovo, ač nevyslovené, přec znělo nám stále v duších. My slyšeli je výstražně v tlukotu kol vlaku, my četli je v oblacích, plujících nad Gardskými horami, my nesli je ve víru turinských ulic, a tušili je, jak chvějí se ve všech sokolských srdcích v okamžiku, kdy nastupovalo se k závodu. — Je tedy naše, my oddaně je skládáme svému národu na oltář. 

For much of the competition, the Belgians competed with only five gymnasts because Mangin was injured after he flew off the high bar.

The Belgians come second to showcase the preliminary exercises: this time Belgium sent a magnificent team, indeed the best of its competitors, and beautiful people, dressed in a familiar, magnificent costume fitted with an embroidered lion on their chest. Two of them were smaller figures. — They had an accident during the competition. The best competitor Paul Mangin flew off the bar and injured himself so that the team then competed with only five. Despite that, they competed steadily to the end, some with bloody hands from the torn calluses. —They deserve recognition. 

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Druzí k prostným nastupují Belgičané: Belgie tentokráte vyslala skvostné družstvo, vskutku nejlepší své cvičence, a krásné lidi, ustrojené v známý, nádherný kroj přiléhavý s vyšitým lvem na prsou. Dva z nich byli menších postav. — Průběhem závodu měli neštěstí. Nejlepší borec Paul Mangin ulétl z hrazdy a zranil se tak, že družstvo napotom závodilo jen o pěti. Přes to závodili úporně až do konce, někteří s krvavými rucemi od strhaných mozolů. — Zaslouží uznání.

The Romanians participated only to see the state of gymnastics in the West and withdrew from the apparatus portion entirely.

According to Mr. Jonescu’s confession, they were brought to the tournament only to see the state of gymnastics in the West, that is, for their instruction. — However, it was more appropriate to send a delegation than to enter a competition. The team withdrew from the apparatus completely, and took part in athletics. But even here as a team they were very weak. Only individually, there was a good thrower here, a good runner there.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Dle přiznání p. Jonescu přivedeni byli na závody jen proto, aby shlédli stav tělocviku na západě, tedy pro své poučení. — K tomu ovšem se hodilo spíše vyslání delegace, než pouštěti se v závod. Družstvo to od nářadí ustoupilo vůbec, a zúčastnilo se závodu prostého. Ale i tu jako družstvo byli velice slabí. Jen jednotlivě, okázal se tu dobrý hod koulí, tam pak běh. 

The Hungarians (allegedly) were scared of the compulsory routines.

The Hungarians, as it is known, did not compete, — were said to be afraid of the preliminary routines, but apparently more of the apparatus. Because the demands on the apparatus were enormous this time, especially on horizontal bar […]

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Maďaři, — jak známo, nenastoupili, — lekli se prý prostných. Patrně ale nářadí více. Neboť požadavky na nářadí byly tentokráte ohromné, zejména na hrazdě […]

The Slovenes’ goal was to beat the Luxembourgers.

[I]t was declared very honorable for the Slovene Sokols if it retains its fifth place in Luxembourg, ahead of the Luxembourgers, who will no doubt make every effort to snatch it from the Slovenes.

Slovenski Sokol, 1911, Number 5

Spričo tega se je izrekalo kot zelo častno za slovensko Sokolstvo, če si ohrani svoje v Luksemburgu pridobljeno peto mesto, pred Luksemburžani, ki bodo brez dvoma napeli vse moči, da ga iztrgajo Slovencem.

Pre-Competition Training

In the view of the Czechs, the Slavs stood out from the rest of the competitors.

The appearance of our competitors and Slovenes immediately caused a stir among all gymnasts and the audience.  — Their massive appearances were visibly overpowering the slender figures of the Italians.  — At first glance, everyone realized “this is a different crayfish.”  — As soon as the equipment became available, our boys occupy it, first the parallel bars. — They practice wonderfully, easily. Rested arms, they move as though their bodies were feathers (compared to slender Italians).

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Objevení se našich borců a Slovinců, způsobilo okamžitě rozruch u všech gymnastů a obecenstva. — Jejich mohutné zjevy odrážely se přímo hrozivě od útlých postav Italů. — Na první pohled uvědomil si každý »tohle je jiná raca«. — Jakmile se uvolnilo nářadí, obsazují je naši, nejprve bradla. — Cvičí skvostně, lehce. Odpočinuté paže, pohrávají si takřka (ve srovnání s Italy ohromným) tělem, jako by to bylo pírko.

Pre-competition training is a game of strategy.

Ours [i.e. the Czechs] do not show everything they can do, from compulsory routines only excerpts, from optional routines, the most impressive parts.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Naši neukazují vše, co umějí, z povinných sestav jen úryvky, z volných ale nejpůsobivější novinky. 

Czada purposefully scared the audience.

So Czada cruelly played with the audience on the high bar with his familiar piece. He let go through the back swing and with a somersault landed on his feet as if it was nothing. — The cry of the audience and then a cheerful laugh — seeing how Czada is grinning, as they say, for the whole round.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Tak Czada krutě si zahrál s obecenstvem na hrazdě svým známým čtveráckým kouskem. Utrhl se při zákmihu a překotém na před postavil se na nohy jakoby nic. — Výkřik obecenstva a v zápětí veselý smích — vidouc, jak se Czada zubí, jak se říká, na celé kolo.

Note: Czada is sometimes spelled Čada.

Among the judges, the Czechs had a reputation before the competition even started.

The rumor of our team’s extraordinary prowess spread immediately. Belgian, serious Delaive, he told me — your team is very strong, the French judges Wachmar and Lalu told us: “vótre section est merveilleuse” [in French] (your team is marvelous).

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Ihned se roznesla pověst o neobyčejné zdatnosti našeho družstva. Belgičan, vážný Delaive. pravil mi — vaše družstvo jest velice silné, Francouzští soudci Wachmar a Lalu pravili nám: »vótre section est merveilleuse« (vaše družstvo jest obdivuhodné).

The apparatus setup was questionable. Steiner fell off the high bar and onto the sidewalk.

There were also accidents — which could seriously endanger our team’s competition, but which turned out well. So, only by the vigilance of brother Erben, brother Steiner was saved from falling on his head while doing a one-armed handstand on high bar. An accident also caught up with him on the pole vault. He flew over the landing area to the highest degree and landed on a hard sidewalk, causing him to hear a crack in his leg. Lame, he had to give up another exercise. We were worried at the time. The thought of the team competing without Steiner was terrible. He was one of the best. But over Friday, the massage and compresses have repaired his leg again.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Při jinak výborných výkonech nechybělo však i na nehodách, — které mohly závod našeho družstva vážně ohroziti, ale které bohudík dobře dopadly. Tak br. Steiner byl jen ostražitostí bra Erbena zachráněn před pádem na hlavu při roznožce ze stoje jednoruč na hrazdě. Nehoda stíhala jej i na skoku o tyči. Při nejvyšší míře přelétl doskočiště a dopadl až na tvrdý chodník, při čemž mu luplo v noze. Kulhaje, musil se vzdáti dalšího cvičení. Bylo nám v tu chvíli krušno. Pomyšlení, že by družstvo závodilo bez Steinera, bylo strašné. Byl přec jeden z nejlepších. Ale přes pátek masáží a obklady se zase spravil.

Czada almost hurt himself falling off pommel horse.

Even our Czada, who perhaps did not ever fall, met the mat. […] For the unusually narrow back of the Italian pommel horse, he reached into space and crashed like lightning on his back. Luckily, we almost reluctantly pulled a mat to the side of the pommel horse just before that. If it hadn’t been there, brother Czada would have fallen horribly on the concrete floor and suffered severe injuries.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

I náš Czada, který snad jaktěživ nespadl, seznámil se se žíněnkou. […] Pro nezvykle úzký hřbet italského koně dohmátl do prázdna a sřítil se jako bleskem na záda. Štěstí, že jsme před tím skoro s nechutí dotáhli na tu stranu koně žíněnku. Nebýt jí, byl by br. Czad padl strašným pádem na betonovou podlahu a odnesl to jistě těžkým zraněním.

The Competition

The competition had to be moved indoors due to rain.

Finally, when everything was ready to go, it rained down, the training ground turned into a lake in a record amount of time.

There was no hope of fixing the equipment, so it was resolved to the advice of the leader at the training ground, Dr. Monti, — to transfer the competition to the gym on Via Magenta. It stayed that way.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Konečně, když všecko bylo zaopatřeno, dalo se do lijáku, cvičišítě proměnilo se v jezero v malé chvíli.

Nebylo naděje na upevnění nářadí,  usneseno tedy k radě vůdce na cvičišti, dra Montiho, — přeložiti závod do tělocvičny ve Via Magenta. Při tom zůstalo.

The Slovenes had to go first for the third straight time.

A draw is made for the order in which the rows will follow each other during the match. The Slovenian team is number 1 for the third time: it was also the first to compete in Prague [in 1907] and Luxembourg [in 1909].

Slovenski Sokol, 1911, Number 5

Izvrši se žrebanje reda, v katerem si bodo vrste sledile pri tekmi. Slovenska vrsta potegne številko 1, že tretjič: tudi v Pragi in v Luksemburgu je šla prva v boj.

Ensemble Floor Routines

As we’ll see, the preliminary exercises weren’t just about movements. They were also about physiques.

The Slovenes were fantastic. The Belgian judge showed great admiration for the routines.

[Lalu] gives a sign to the Slovenes. Murnik commands and the rest of his team are lining up like rods. —- With a magnificent, simple start, certainly the best of them at the tournament, they will take a lead on the floor exercise. They are just beautiful in the floor exercise. Delaive cannot resist and he shows admiration for them. Their style is similar to ours. Without brute force, light, and precise positioning, in the center, they achieve 167.75 points out of 182 possible, which means that each of them gained on each of the three sets up to 9.2 points.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Tento dává znamení Slovincům.  Murnik  zavelí a již přicházejí jinoši jako pruty. —- Skvostným, jednoduchým nástupem, jistě nejlepším, co jich na závodech bylo, zaujmou postavení k prostným. Jsou přímo nádherni při prostných. Delaive nezdrží se. aby mi neprojevil obdiv nad nimi. Jejich styl je podobný našemu. Bez násilí, lehké a přesné zaujmutí polohy, v ruchu středním, docilují 167.75 bodů ze 182 možných, to znamená, že každý z nich zacvičil každou ze tří sestav na 9.2 bodu.

The Czech team looked extremely balanced with physiques like they were made of granite.

There was not a more balanced team [than the Czech team]. The same size as if cut to size, and physiques like they were made of granite. -— Their copper-tanned bodies add to the impression. — They thought that they would compete in the heat of the southern sun, so they hardened at home, they trained in the sun at Letná.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Stejné velikosti, jako když je zastříhne a co postava, to žula. -— Jejich jako měď opálená těla dojem ještě zvyšují. — Domnívali se, že bude jim závoditi v úpalu jižního slunce, otužovali se tedy již doma, na Letné cvičili na slunci.

The Czech team was fantastic during the preliminary ensemble exercises.

Their floor exercise and harmony did not have equal in this competition. Also the only ones, I guess, received 2 points for the event. Other teams fluctuated from 1 to 1 and a half points. Their style was: nothing more, nothing less than what was needed, movements precise, neither supple nor jerky. They received 172.75 points the highest number of points ever achieved. 

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Prostná jejich i souhra neměly rovných v tomto závodě. Také jediní, tuším, obdrželi za souhru 2 body. Ostatní družstva kolísala od 1 až do 1 a půl bodu. Styl jejich byl: nic více, nic méně než co třeba, pohyby přesné, ani vláčně, ani trhavě silácké. Obdrželi 172.75 bodů nejvyšší to počet bodů v prostných vůbec docílený.

Erben, in particular, stood out.

Br. Erben’s performance was unique. I’ve never seen him perform so beautifully. If it is true that he is ending his competitive career, he could not finish it more beautifully than with this performance in the floor exercise and even more so with his optional routine on the high bar, which I will talk about later. The way he put his feet in the stance, the way he stuck his arms in position, was stunningly accurate.

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Výkon bra Erbena byl jedinečný. Neviděl jsem jej nikdy tak krásně cvičit. Je-li pravdou, že končí svou závodnickou dráhu, nemohl ji krásněji ukončiti než tímto výkonem ve prostných a pak ještě volnou sestavou na hrazdě, o čemž později. Způsob, jak on kladl nohy v postoj, jak utkvíval pažema v poloze, byl až omámivě přesný.

The Luxembourgers’ physiques weren’t proportionate, and their team leader was overzealous.

The Luxembourgers are going. Their figures are not as proportionate as those of the Belgians, their attire is black shorts, white T-shirts with sleeves do not look particularly peculiar. The march is not even, although the team is trying to make a positive impression. It is severely violated by the team leader, who commands the six men in a terrible voice, as if he wishes to tear them apart. The preliminary exercises do not show the precision of previous teams, they remain 19 ½ points behind the Czechs.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Nastupují Lucemburští. Postavy nejsou tak úměrné jako u Belgů, jejich úbor černé krátké spodky, bílá trika s rukávy nepůsobí zvláště. Pochod není vyrovnaný, ač snaží se družstvo dociliti příznivý dojem. Ten značně porušuje vůdce družstva, který velí šesti mužům strašlivým hlasem, jakoby je chtěl rozsápat. Prostná nemají vybroušenosti předešlých družstev, zůstávají o 19 ½ bodu za Čechy.

The Croatians impressed with their physiques, as well.

Competitors Christmanič and Palčič arouse the admiration of Judges Delaiv and Lalu, with their beautifully grown chests, thin at the waist and reasonably strong at the shoulders, supposedly as “corseted.”

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Závodníci Christmanič a Palčič vzbuzují obdiv soudců Delaiva a Lalu-ho svýrni krásně rostlými hrudníky, útlými v pase a přiměřené silnými v ramenou, prý jako »dle šněrovačky«.

The Italian team didn’t have much grace, but they were enthusiastic.

Beautiful team, impressively organized. Blue tight pants, yellow t-shirts with sleeves and blue embroidered badges. The first two are quite large, 2 medium, 2 small. […] They carry out the preliminary exercises in the method of the military, as is the case in Italy. Briskly, by force, even convulsively. As a result, they lose a lot of grace. The spirit of the Italian team was admirable; enthusiasm and competitive endurance lurked beneath the disciplined icy exterior.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Krásné družstvo, působivě ustrojené. Modré přiléhavé kalhoty, žlutavá trika s rukávy a modrými vyšitými odznaky. První dva dost velcí, 2 prostřední, 2 malí. Vedoucí jest důstojník (v tělocvičném úboru). Prostná provádějí po vojensku, jako jest v Italii vůbec tento způsob. Usečně, silou, až křečovitě. Tím ztrácejí mnoho na ladnosti. Duch italského družstva byl obdivuhodný, pod zkázněným ledovým zevnějškem krylo se nadšení a závodnická úpornost.

High Bar

The Belgians opted to use the Czech team’s bar, but they used magnesium on the bar, making the bar slippery.

The Belgians used magnesium like on an iron bar, which makes the polished bar smooth. The polished bar needs resin. One of the Belgians also paid for this carelessness with a fall, thus destroying the success of the entire team. 

Belgičané užívali magnesia, jako na železné, což činí hrazdu dýhovanou však hladkou. Na dýhu patří smůla. Také jeden z Belgičanů tuto neopatrnost zaplatil pádem, a tím úspěch celého družstva zničil.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Because the Belgian team used magnesium, the Czech team struggled. Erben almost flew off the bar.

Our team, who went after the Belgians, wiped the magnesium in vain, the bar remained smooth, making the grip precarious, which forced our competitors to be most careful. Br. Erben, who came to a smooth place with one hand while using a mixed grip, also flew off. Taking this into consideration, the French, Luxembourg and Italians preferred the cast iron bars in the gym. Only Croats still trained on our bar.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Naši, kteří přišli po Belgech marně magnesium stírali, hrazda zůstala hladká, hmat nejistý, který nutil naše borce k největší opatrnosti. Br. Erben, který skřiženým přehmatem se dostal jednou rukou na hladké místo, ulétl též. Poučeni tímto, Francouzi, Lucemburští a Italové volili raději hrazdu železnou v tělocvičně. Pouze Chorvaté cvičili ještě na naší.

The French and Czech judges created their own judging arrangements.

Before the first team — Slovenians — arrived at the bar, I conclude with Mr. Wachmar — who was already in Prague [in 1907] — that in case of disagreement, we will each give our own score and enter the average; this happened only once in Luxembourg [in 1909]. Otherwise, we agreed that the Czechs will give the first score during the French team’s performances, and vice versa during the Czech team’s performances.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Nežli prvé družstvo — Slovinci — ku hrazdě se dostavilo, dormlouvám se s p. Vachmarem —- který byl již v Praze — že v případě nedohodnutí, dáme každý svoji známku a střed zapíšeme; došlo k tomu pouze jednou a to při Lucemburčanu. Jinak dohodli jsme se, že při závodu Francouzů sdělí Čech první známku, při závodu Čechů pak naopak.

The Slovenians struggled with compulsories, but their optional routines were excellent.

They perform well but still carefully. Vidmar, a top sportsman, doesn’t perform like he did during the warm-ups — not even Fuchs, an elegant gymnast has no sure grip; only Kovačič seems to hang on but even he is not himself. The compulsory routines don’t go well for them — out of six, four have a break in the routine. The optional exercises are already better performed — the set of Kovačič and br. Thaler, containing more strength than swing, more swing contained in the sets of br. Fuchs and Vidmar.

“The compulsory exercise is challenging,” Mr. Wachmar tells me as the Slovenians step away; “But ours are lighter body structures.” And they were, as we found out.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Čvičí sice slušně — ale přece s trémou. Vidmar — cvičenec, jakých málo — necvičí tak jako při zkoušce — ani Fuchs, elegantní cvičenec nemá jistý hmat; jediný Kovačič zdá se že vydrží, ale ani ten není ve své míře. Povinná sestava nejde jim příliš k duhu — ze šesti čtyři přerušují sestavu. Volné cviky isou již lépe prováděny — dobrá byla sestava Kovačiče i br. Thalera, obsahujíc více tahu nežli švihu, více švihu obsahovaly sestavy br. Fuchse i Vidmara.

»Cvičení povinné je veimi obtížné, « praví mi p. Vachmar, když Slovinci pevným krokem odcházejí; »naši jsou ale lehčí tělesné konstrukce«. A byli také, jak jsme se přesvědčili.

The Belgian gymnast Mangin broke his wrist.

A gifted trainee, a good friend Paul Mangin, has an accident here. He falls on his hand and head, but rises deftly and walks into the line; we think the fall was lucky -—- so we ask if he wants a correction run — he wants to go, but he can’t grip the bar -—- and he finds that his wrist is broken. The case seems quite depressing to the team’s mind, although the next team member performed his optional set -—- quite difficult -—- smoothly. Too bad, such a beautiful team —- they have to compete with only five — the substitute can no longer start!

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Nadaného cvičence, dobrého druha Paul Maugina stihá zde nehoda. Při přehmatu po veletoči na zad -— při předkmihu ulétá — padá na ruku a hlavu, ale hbitě se zvedne a odchází do řady; míníme, že pád byl šťastný — ptáme se tedy, zda chce opravu — chce jíti, ale nemůže lhrazdu sevříti — i shledáno, že má záručí vyraženo. Případ ten působí na mysl družstva dosti sklíčivě, ač hned následující cvičenec svou volnou sestavu — dosti obtížnou -—- hladce provedl. Škoda tak krásného družstva —- musí závoditi dále jen o pěti — náhradník nyní již nastoupiti nemůže!

The interest in the male physique extended to high bar, where Starý, a Czech gymnast, flew off the bar.

Compulsory sets commence – the first is br. Starý. Mr. Wachimar whispers to me, watching the exercise closely: “This is a beautiful body.” -—- Starý is already happily changing handgrips -—- just the dismount — a good start, but he touches the crossbar a little, and suddenly it seems unsustainable, he is flying over his head. »Rescue« Svoboda Sv. catches him, but he can’t hold such a force, and they both fall -—- but both luckily. 

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Povinné cvičení počíná — prvý ide br. Starý. Pan Wachimar mi šeptá, sleduje bedlivě cvičení: »to je krásné tělo«. — Starý již šťastně přehmatává — již jen roznožka — dobrý náběh na ni, nepatrně však vadí o hrazdu a již zdá se neudržitelně letí na hlavu. »Záchrance« Svoboda Sv. však šťastně ‘chytá, nemůže ale prudký náraz udržeti, padá a s ním i náš Karel — oba ale šťastně.

Svoboda was excellent on high bar.

Next is Svoboda Sv., holds the body and legs beautifully and performs the whole set perfectly. He impresses Mr. Wachmar with his whole appearance by whispering to me again: “he is a beautiful exerciser.”

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Druhý ide Svoboda Sv., drží krásně tělo a nohy a provádí bezvadně celou sestavu. Celý zjev jeho imponuje p. Wachmarovi tak, že mi opět šeptá: »to je krásný cvičenec«

Czada scored a perfect 12 on his compulsory set.

The last is Czada, who gains the full number of points with the magnificent execution of the compulsory set.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Poslední br. Czada skvostným provedením dané sestavy získává plný počet bodů.

Czada repeated the feat with his optional set. Erben also had a perfect optional set.

The most valuable were the [optional] sets of the brothers Erben and Czada — and they also bring the full number of points.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Neicennější bvly sestavy bří Erbena a Czady — a také vynášejí jin plný počet bodů;

The French were nothing special on high bar.

The French are going. They train lightly — they carry out the compulsory sets, except for one having a correctional turn, all without interruption. We are amazed at how easily they straddle vault over the high bar. Optional exercises are nice, but very familiar things.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Nastupují Francouzi. Cvičí lehce — povinnou sestavu, vyjímajíc jednoho po opravě — provádějí všichni bez přerušení. Je nám až s podivem, jak lehounce roznožkou přes hrazdu přecházejí. Volná cvičení jsou sice pěkná, ale samé známé věci.

Nor were the Croats, who were new to these competitions.

The penultimate team on the high bar were newcomers to the international match, the Croats; the team starts quite poorly — half want to train on our high bar — half on iron. The compulsory whole exercise without interruption by only two was performed. The optional exercises were already better, but there were no special sets either.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Předposledním družstvem na hrazdě byli nováčkové v mezinárodním zápase, Chorvaté; družstvo nastupuie dosti skřehlé — polovina chce cvičit na hrazdě naší —- polovina na železné. Povinné cvičení celé bez přerušení pouze dvěma bylo provedeno. Volné cviky byly již lepší, ale ani zde nebylo zvláštních sestav.

Parallel Bars

Interesting tidbit: Judges had to act as interpreters during the competitions.

The fact that I [Havel] was appointed an interpreter for a pair of judges on parallel bars (Belgian and Slovenian) allowed me to see the parallel bars competition. 

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Okolností, že určen jsem byl za tlumočníka dvojici soudců na bradlech (Belg a Slovinec), umožnilo se mi viděti závod bradlový.

Most competitors cheated the roll from handstand to handstand during the compulsory parallel bar routine.

It was more balanced and less annoying than the high bar competition. Almost all the teams came out of it favorably, without big differences and accidents. Compulsory exercises here were also difficult, but not so dangerous. The most important element of this routine, the roll from handstand to handstand, when executed correctly, was a rare exception. This exercise was tricky and sensitive. The poles were very flexible, unstretched by steel, a small reach over was enough, and the competitor flew into the support — that’s why most of the competitors did it carefully, not with a bounce of their arms, but standing on their shoulders and pressing into the handstand from there. 

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Byl vyrovnanější a méně rozčilující než závod hrazdový. Téměř všechna družstva vyšla z něho příznivě, bez velikých rozdílů a nehod. Cviky povinné zde byly sice také nesnadné, ale nikoli tak nebezpečné. Nejdůležitější prvek této sestavy, kotoul ze stoje o rukou do stoje o rukou správně provedený, byl přes to řídkou výiimkou. Ošemetné a citlivé toto cvičení dařilo se málo. Bylyť žerdě velmi pružné, ocelí neprotažené, stačilo malinké přebrání, a cvičenec přelítl až do vzporu — z toho důvodu většina závodníků dělala jej opatrně, odrazem paží sice, ale do stoje o ramenou a odtud dotahovala stoj. 

The Bureau des Fédérations Européennes de Gymnastique was more lenient when judging. In the Czech Sokol tradition, those who cheated the skill would have received a zero.

The judges were quite lenient here. According to our competition rules, it would have been a zero. The French and Belgian methods of scoring, which are also used in international competitions, are milder and follow this principle: in the whole set, each element is estimated by half, one or two points, according to its relative value, so that the sum is ten. And it is concluded: if the competitor performs the whole set perfectly — he deserves 10 points. If he misses something, or he doesn’t succeed at all, he will have the value of the element deducted according to the preliminary valuation. If he performs it imperfectly, a quarter to a half-point will be deducted. Fall off equipment, a hard landing, or a fall are also taken into account, either favorably or unfavorably. This explains that even where the roll was not executed correctly, the competitor received a decent score of up to 8 points — as the judges deducted a maximum of 1 and a half points. 

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Soudci byli zde dosti shovívaví. Dle našeho závodního řádu byla by to nulla. Francouzský a Belgický způsob známkování, kterého se též užívá při mezinárodních závodech, jest mírnější a sice řídí se touto zásadou: v celé sestavě odhadne se každý prvek půlkou, jedním, až dvěma body, dle poměrné jeho hodnoty tak, aby součet činil deset. A usuzuje se: provede-li borec celou sestavu bezvadně — zaslouží 10 bodů. Vynechá-li něco, neb vůbecnesvede, strhne se mu tolik, kolik připadalo na onen prvek dle předběžnéno ocenění. Udělá-li jej nedokonale strhuje se mu čtvrt až půl bodu. Sejití s nářadí, pevný doskok, nebo pád béře se rovněž v úvahu, buď příznivě nebo nepříznivě. Jen tím se vysvětluje, že i tam, kde kotoul nebvl správně proveden, obdržel závodník slušnou známku až 8 bodů — ježto soudci strhovali za něj tuším nejvýše 1 a půl bodu. 

The Bureau’s way of scoring was too focused on individual elements and didn’t focus on the combination.

This method of scoring has one drawback and that is that it does not appreciate enough combination of elements, which is often more important than the element itself.

Tento způsob známkování má jednu vadu a to, že neoceňuje dost spojení prvků, což jest mnohdy větší důležitosti než prvek sám.

A look into how the judging worked: Some errors were canceled out by the overall impression.

Wilmet literally said: During the backward roll [Steiner’s] feet slightly touched on the pole, but the end washes everything away. But it was also a sight to behold, how Steiner’s right arm, like an iron pillar, fixed firmly, straight on the pole, supported his massive body, while his left was in precise upright.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Doslovně pravil Wilmet: Při kolech zánožmo smýknul nepatrně nohama o žerď, ale ten konec, ten smývá všechno. Bylo to však také podívání, jak Steinerovo pravé paže jako železný sloup tkvělo pevně, rovně na žerdi, podpírajíc mohutné jeho tělo, mezitím co levá byla v přesném upažení.

The French weren’t as impressive on parallel bars as they were in 1909.

We were expecting the “Luxembourg Poem” from the French again. —- But the French seem to have concentrated on other equipment this time. And as it turned out, it was the trapeze and the rings where they performed their wonders. Neither the execution of the compulsory sets nor the composition of the optional ones showed peculiarities in them.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Očekávali jsme na bradlech od Francouzů zase onu »Lucemburskou báseň«. —- Než zdá se, že Francouzi se vrhli tentokráte na jiné nářadí. A jak se pak ukázalo, byla to hrazda a kruhy, kde konali své divy. Ani provedení povinných sestav, ani skladba volných nevykazovala zvláštností u nich.

Reminder: The French gymnasts were the champions at the 1909 World Championships, which were held in Luxembourg.

There was an injury for Italy, and the gymnast had his finger examined while holding an L-sit.

The self-denial of Athlete No. 6 was admirable. During his straddle cut to  L-sit, he injured his little finger. Staying in L-sit, he asked for his little finger to be fixed while in position. He received help, then he jumped down, asked for a repeat, and finished the set. He was a small competitor, of small size but great will.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Obdivuhodné bylo sebezapření závodníka č. 6. -— který při přešvihu roznožmo do přednosu vyvrátil si malík, a vytrvávaje v přednosu, žádal narovnání. Dostalo se mu ho, načež seskočil a vzal si opravu a sestavu provedl. S tímto zraněním pokračoval a dokončil závod. Byl to sporý závodník, nepatrného těla, ale veliké vůle.

Pommel Horse

Italians have piked circles and lack extended hips. Meanwhile, the Slavic gymnasts have fully extended swings.

The Italians conquered. They stunned with tensely strained legs and a strange throwing force. They perform almost everything in L-sit as if it were a strength element. The Italians do not have that whole body swing that the Czechs and Slovenes use, and which has an axis of movement in their shoulders. They only move their legs.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Primátu na koni dobvli. Italové. Omračovali pevně napnutýma nohama a zvláštním způsobem metání silou. Oni takřka cvičí všecko v přednosu jako by ve výdrži. Onoho kyvu celým tělem, kterým metají Češi a Slovinci, a který má osu pohybu v ramenech, Italové nemají. Oni pohybují pouze nohama.

The Italians had an advantage based on their competition order. They had a very captive audience.

The Italians had another great advantage. They performed in the afternoon, in the grave silence, for they were alone on the field, and each of their sets received a wide audience with thunderous applause. General Capello ostentatiously honored the individual competitors. It often affects the mood of the competitor. It went so far that the 5th competitor repeated his optional set to the audience with deafening cheers […].

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Italové byli ještě u jedné ohromné výhodě. Metali odpoledne, za hrobového ticha, byliť sami an závodišti, a každý cvik jeiich přijímalo přečetné obecenstvo hromovým potleskem. Gieneral Capello okázale vyznamenával iednotlivé borce. To rinoho působí k náladě závodníka. Šlo to tak daleko, že 5. cvičenec opakoval obecenstvu za ohlušujícího jásotu svoji volnou sestavu […].

The French lost points for their behavior because they competed without shoes.

A large part of this loss is due to the behavior of the competitor and the team. The French when competing took off their shoes and were performing in stockings, which the judges did not notice until they were almost done. They suffered for it with a loss on behavioral points.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Velká část této ztráty připadá na chování se závodníka i družstva. Francouzové totiž zuli při metání střevíce a metali v punčochách, což soudci zpozorovali, až kdvž bylo skoro odcvičeno. Za to utrpěli ztrátou na bodech za chování.


The French were incredible on rings with their fiery routines. The Czechs had an elegant style, while the Italians were strong.

The rings was the most successful event for all the teams on equipment. The French conquered first on rings. Here they appeared as real competitors. Some feverish rush dominated them, and they have outdone each other in performance. — They outperformed Italy, whose performance was cool and strong. It was difficult to say which of the three rival teams was better on the rings. Whether the Czechs with their perfect elegant style, or the fiery French, or the strong Italians.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Závod na kruzích byl z nářaďového závodu neizdařilejším u všech družstev. Francouzi dobyli primátu na kruzích. Zde objevili se jako praví závodníci. Jakýsi horečný chvat je ovládal, a oni překonávali druh druha. — Temperamentem překonali Italy, kteří cvičili chladně a siláckv. Bylo nesnadno říci, které z třech soupeřících družstev bylo na kruzích skvěleiší. Zda Češi svým dokonalým elegantním slohem, či ohniví Francouzi, nebo silácky až toporní Italové.

Here are a few of the skills competed by the Czech gymnasts.

Steiner by double turning onehanded, releasing the ring, and reconnecting with the other arm, Erben with his roll forward to straddle support. ​​Svoboda with his felge to handstand after his dislocate.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Steiner dvoiným otočením v praporu vzadu jednopaž, puštěním kruhu a vzpažením druhou, Erben překotem roznožmo ze vzporu. Svoboda výmykem do stoje o rukou po výkrutu nazad.

My thought bubble: I wish there were video of Steiner’s routine.

Erben struggled on rings because of his fall on high bar.

Erben still felt the effects of falling off the high bar, and had to leave the rings three times for nausea to walk out into the air.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Erben cítil stále následky pádu s hrazdy a musil od kruhů třikráte odejíti pro nevolnost ven na vzduch procházeti se. 

My thought bubble: It sounds like he had a concussion.

The teams were supposed to finish all their apparatus routines and then take a break. Only the Slovenians, Belgians, and Czechs followed the rules.

Each team had to finish the apparatus portion of the competition and then had a break. The French violated this provision and left after the pommel, saying they were exhausted. The Italians stayed and completed the trapeze. Slovenians, Belgians, and Czechs were the only ones to perform on all four pieces of equipment in one go.

Závod nářaďový mělo dokončiti každé družstvo a pak mělo přestávku. Toto ustanovení porušili Francouzi a odešli po koni, řkouce, že jsou vyčerpáni. Italové zůstali a dokončili hrazdu. Slovinci, Belgové a Češi jediní odbyli si všecka čtyři nářadí na jednu zápřež. Byli jistě tím v nevýhodě poněvadž to bylo veliké napietí. 


The Big Debate about Continuing in the Rain

It started raining. Mr. Cupérus, the head of the FIG, insisted on continuing.

 It was not possible to compete without the risk of injury on pole vault, rope climb, or shot put. — However, Mr. Cupérus orders the Slovenians to start the pole vault.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

V tom nebylo možno závoditi bez nebezpečí úrazu na skoku, při laně i při vrhu koulí. — Nicméně p. Cuperus dává rozkaz, aby Slovinci nastoupili ke skoku o tyči. 

Mr. Cupérus suggested ending the competition after the apparatus portion. The French insisted on finishing the competition.

[The Slovenians] object to the impossibility of competing; landing in a field of mud, starting and pushing off on slippery clay impossible. —  So there is a meeting of judges other than those who judged on pommel horse and rings.— Mr. Cupérus proposes to end the competition with the apparatus managed so far. After a strong opposition by the Frenchmen Wachmar and Lalu, it was decided to finish the competition at all costs.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Tito namítaií nemožnost závodů; doskočiště bahno, rozběh a odraz na kluzké hlíně nemožný. — Svolává se tedy porada soudců mimo ty, kteří soudili na koni a kruzích. — Pan Cuperus dává návrh na ukončení závodu odbytým nářadím. Po důrazném ohražení se Francouzů Wachmara a Laluho usneseno závod dokončiti za každou cenu.

Ending after the apparatus portion would have meant a victory for Italy.

The break at 4 o’clock between the apparatus and athletics competition was the most tense. The judges held a meeting to decide whether to continue or finish the competition. The end of the competition meant a hard nut to swallow for the Czechs and even more for the French and a victory for Italy — the continuation of the competition meant hope for the Czechs and the French, and a difficult defensive fight for Italy. — The decision was made almost unanimously 1. for the completion of the events in full, 2. completion on the same day.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Přestávka o 4. hodině mezi závodem nářaďovým a prostým byla nejvýš napiatou. Soudcovský sbor odcházel k poradě, kde měl rozhodnouti o pokračování či skončení závodů.  Skončení závodů vůbec znamenalo ortel pro Čechy a ještě více pro Francouze a vítězství pro Italii — pokračování závodů znamenalo naděje pro Čechy a Francouze, a těžký obhajovací boi pro Italy. — Rozhodnutí padlo takřka jednomyslně 1. pro dokončení závodů v plném rozsahu vůbec, 2. dokončení ještě týž den.

The competition couldn’t take two days due to the FIG Congress.

However, when Slovinec Smertník declared, that their team would start the competition, if all teams submitted to the competition today, so that the conditions were the same, this opinion was immediately unanimously accepted by the judges and the competition continued. The completion of the competition for tomorrow had its difficulties for the program of the second day, especially for the congress of the “European Gymnastics Association.”

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Když však Slovinec Směrtník prohlásil, že jejich družstvo nastoupí k závodu, podrobí-li se všechna družstva dnes ještě závodu, aby byla steinost podmínek, bvlo toto stanovisko ihned sborem soudců jednomyslně přijato a závody pokračovaly. Dokončení závodu na zítří mělo své obtíže pro prosram druhého dne, hlavně pro kongres »Evropského svazu tělocvičného«.

Athletics: The Downfall of the Italians

The Italians have fallen victim to the overestimation of apparatus and the underestimation of track and field events, which is gaining so much weight in a versatile international competition. The same experience, for which the French paid dearly in Prague [in 1907], was paid for this time by the Italians in Turin.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Italové stali se obětí přeceňování nářadí a nedocenění tělocviku prostého, který ve všestranném závodě mezinárodním tolik padá na váhu. Tutéž zkušenost, kterou platili draze Francouzi v Praze, zaplatili tentokráte Italové v Turině.

Shot Put

The Belgian gymnast who broke his arm still did shot put with one arm.

It is touching that the injured Paul Mangin throws only with his right hand (his left is in a sling) to save the team some points.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Dojímavé jest, že zraněný Paul Mangin hází pouze pravou rukou (levou má v obvazu), aby družstvu zachránil nějaké body.

The French were bad at shot put.

The French, who were, except for two competitors, of small figures, did badly, only 23.16 points out of 90 was all they took away. The longest throw was righthanded 8.50. They had many puts as zero, i.e. less than 7 m. 

The French, who were, except for two competitors, of small figures, did badly, only 23.16 points out of 90 was all they took away. The longest throw was righthanded 8.50. They had many puts as zero, i.e. less than 7 m. 

Note: Most teams struggled with shotput if you look at the results table above.

Starý impressed the judges with his throws with both arms.

Although he doesn’t put as far as he does at home, the French judge, a gymnastics teacher, Lalu, can not help but congratulate Starý. Smiles at him and strokes his arms. No less impressed is the audience by his lefthanded put at almost 9 meters. Both puts from Stary, 9.30 m right hand and 8.60 m with the left, command amazement among gymnasts and the audience.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Ač nehází tolik jako doma, přec nezdrží se francouzský soudce, učitel tělocviku, Lalu, aby nešel gratulovati Starému. Usmívá se a hladí jei po pažích. Neméně ohromuje obecenstvo jeho hod levou skoro 9 metrů. Oba hody Starého 9.30 m. pravou a 8.60 m. levou vzbuzují úžas u gymnastů i obecenstva.

The audience didn’t cheer for the Czechs.

And when Steiner, Svoboda, and especially Czada achieve 8 and over 8 meters to accumulate points with both right and left hand, the audience feels that the Czech team is unstoppable, reaching for first place, the joyful mood springing from the hope of Italian victory leaves them, and with freezing silence they accept the performances of our athletes, calling them professionals. Not even a hand moved to applaud them, and before that, the same audience applauded every 8-meter throw. That wouldn’t be happening in our audience. When international competitions were held in Prague at the 1907 rally, I remember well that our audience has accompanied with the same praise every excellent performance, regardless of nationality.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

A kdvž Steiner, Svoboda a zejména Czada hody 8 a přes 8 metrů pravou i levou rukou hromadí body, pocituje obecenstvo, že dzre se české družstvo nezadržitelně v před na prvé místo, radostná nálada, prýštící z naděje na vítězství Italů je opouští, a oni s mrazivou zamlklostí přijímají výkony našich s poznámkami athleti, profesionálové. Ani ruka se nehnula, aby jim zatleskala pochvalu, a přec před tím totéž obecenstvo vyznamenávalo každý 8metrový hod potleskem. Toho by naše obecenstvo nebylo schopno. Když o sletu r. 1907 konaly se mezinárodní závody v Praze, pamatuji se dobře, že naše obecenstvo stejnou pochvalou provázelo každý znamenitý výkon borce, ať patřil kterékoli národnosti.

Note: It was against the rules to be a professional gymnast.

Pitl was left-handed, and the judges thought he cheated when he threw 8.50 m with his left hand.

A whimsical incident took place during Pitl‘s throw. The judges did not want to recognize the 8.50 throw with his left hand. It seemed impossible to them and that a mistake had been made. But when they were convinced that Pitl was left-handed, they corrected their opinion with a smile.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Rozmarná příhoda odbyla se při hodu Pitlově. Soudcové nechtěli uznati hod 8.50 levou rukou. Zdálo se jim to nemožné a že se stal omyl nějaký. Když se ale přesvědčili, že Pitl je levák, s úsměvem opravili své mínění.

Rope Climb

The French gymnasts were the crowd’s favorites during their climbs.

In particular, the French rope climb was accompanied by bursts of applause. They climbed up the rope like cats. It is a pity that our competitors did not receive the same award from the public at the pole vault, which I count as one of the most beautiful phenomena in the whole competition. It passed within a short moment in a few minutes, almost without the attention of the audience, which at this time was more grouped to climb and shot put.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Tan, kde se závodilo (u koule a šplhu) bylo obečenstvo nejhustčiší, bzučelo to tam jako v úlé.. Čo chvíli zahlaholila pochvala, zavlnilo se množství, třeskl prudký potlesk, okamžiky napjatého ticha střídaly se se vzrušenými projevy po několik hodin. Zejména šplh Francouzů provázen byl salvami potlesku. Jeli po laně nahoru jako kočky. Škoda, že stejného ocenění veřejností nedostalo se našim borcům u skoku o tyči, který čítám k nejkrásnějším zievům celého závodu. Odbyl se v kratičké chvíli v několika minutách, takřka bez pozornosti obecenstva, které v tuto chvíli více se seskupilo ke šplhu a vrhu koulí.

Starý bent his leg, so his first climb wasn’t counted.

 Our team was not trained to hold their legs tense and precise. Br. Stary’s climb wasn’t counted as he bent his legs. He had to climb again. Although most gymnasts had the view that he would not climb at all, Starý climbed with fully extended legs in less time than the first time, scoring the full number of points. 

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Naši nebylo cvičeni na přesné držení napiatých nohou. Br. Starému nebyl čítán šplh pro krčení nohou. Musel šplhati znova. Ač většina gymnastů byla náhledu, že nedošplhá vůbec, vyšplhal Starý o úplně natažených nohou ještě za kratší čas než po prvé, a docílil plného počtu bodů. Výkon jeho vzbudil obdiv všech gymnastů.

Not only did Erben have a head injury during the apparatus competition; Pitl also suffered one because he swung into a wall during his climb.

Ours would also have scored the full number of climbing points. But chance played cruelly with Pitl. The rope was hung close to the wall, next to which a lower structure for school climbers was built. A traverse protruded toward the wall. The end of the rope was 2 m away from the ground, which made it sway easily. Pitl climbed extensively, kicked at the wall, swayed and crashed his head into the traverse beam at a height of 7 m. He suffered a few cm long laceration — and he had to go down. He was lucky he didn’t fall at all. He climbed again after he was bandaged up, but only in 10 seconds, i.e. 10 points.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Naši by byli docílili rovněž plného počtu bodů na šplhu. Žde si náhoda krutě zahrála s Pitlem. Lano bylo zavěšeno těsně na zdi, vedle které byla postavena blízko nižší konstrukce šplhadel školních. Z té vyčnívala traversa směrem ke zdi. Konec lana byl 2 m. vzdálen od země, čímž se snadno rozhoupalo. Pitl šplhal roznožmo, kopnul do zdi, rozhoupal se a narazil ve výši 7 m hlavou do traversy. Způsobil si několik cm. dlouhou tržnou ránu — a musel dolů. Bylo štěstím, že nespadl vůbec. Po obvazu šplhal znovu, ale už jen za 10 vteřin, t. j. 10 bodů.

The French weren’t allowed to hold the end of the rope.

The French, seeing what had happened to Pitl, did not want to climb unless it was allowed for someone to hold the end of the rope so that it could not sway. However, the judges did not allow it, and they had to climb under the same circumstances as the others.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Francouzové vidouce, co se stalo Pitlovi, nechtěli šplhat, nebude-li dovoleno držeti konec lana, aby se nemohlo rozhoupati. Soudcové však toho nepřipustili a oni museli šplhati za stejných okolností jako ostatní.

Pole Vault

The Czechs didn’t like the rules for pole vault.

The provisions of the vault felt very cruel. The stabbing of the pole meant a vault, the slightest touch of the rope by one’s body, hand or pole, meant a failed jump.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Bylať ustanovení o skoku velice krutá. Zabodnutí tyče znamenalo skok, nejmenší zavadění o moutouz ať tělem, rukou či tyčí, znamenalo zmařený skok.

Note: You can read more about the rules for track and filed below.

Despite his head injury, Pitl still attempted to pole vault with a bandaged head that looked like a white helmet.

[A]fter two preliminary jumps (2–2.20 m) our boys perform with the highest prescribed height for the full number of points (15) and fly one after the other without the slightest touch; Starý with a tremendous excess of force high above the rope, Erben bent like a snake with his back to the twine, I would say with a back curved back, Steiner and Czada a nice combination of pitch and buckling on the pole, Svoboda charges wildly at run up; I am already rejoicing in the spirit that the Czechs will win a great victory not only on the pole vault, but irresistibly already in the whole competition, because only Pitl remains, who jumps with absolute certainty for the full number of points. But Pittl falls victim to the jump modification and partly his injuries. He’s still intoxicated by the head wound he received while climbing. He has a bandaged head in a kind of white helmet, and we feel sorry for him.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7, Emphasis my own

[N]aši po dvou předběžných skocích (2—2.20 m) dávají si největší předepsanou výšku na plný počet bodů (15) a jeden za druhým bez nejmenšího tknutí přelétají motouz, Starý s ohromným přebytkem síly vysoko nad motouzem, Erben prohnutě jako hádě zády k motouzu, řekl bych přemykem zadem prohnutě, Steiner a Czada pěkným spojením náběhu a vzepření na tyči, Svoboda divoce pouhým náběhem; jásám již v duchu, že Češi dobudou velikého vítězství nejen na skoku, ale nezadržitelně již v celém závodu, neboť zbývá jen Pittl, který skáče s naprostou jistotou na plný počet bodů. Než Pittl stává se obětí úpravy skoku i částečně svého zranění.

The Italians created a hole to insert their poles.

The modification of the pole vault in the Italian way with a hole under the rope to stab the pole was unusual for our competitors, it threatened the success of the jump. Some adjusted, but Pitl and Svoboda preferred to stab elsewhere.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Úprava skoku o tyči po italském způsobu s dírou pod motouzem pro zabodnutí tyče, byla našim závodníkům nezvyklou, ohrožovala dosti zdar skoku. Někteří se přizpůsobili, ale Pittl a Svoboda zabodávali raději vedle.

The Romanians reportedly threatened the judges and the audience with their poles.

The Romanians were the weakest in the pole vault. Only one of them reached 2.50 meters, the others did not reach 2 meters after a large number of jumps and retakes, threatening the judge and the audience with a pole. They achieved a total of 33 points.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Rumuni byli na skoku nejslabší. Jediný z nich docílil 2.50 m., ostatní po velikém množství skoků a oprav nedostali se ke 2 metrům, při čemž ohrožovali tyčí soudce i obecenstvo. Docílili celkem 33 bodů.

100 m Sprint

The teams had to run in the dark.

Shortly afterwards — after 8 o’clock the first two teams arrive — Slovenians and Belgians; they run pretty well. Behind them are Luxembourgers, then Romanians — ours, then the French, the Croatians and at last the Italians; It is running in the dark, beginning with the people of Luxembourg.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Krátce na to — po 8. hodině přijíždějí prvá dvě družstva — Slovinci a Belgičani; běžejí dosti dobře. Za nimi Lucemburští, pak Rumuni — na to naši, pak Francouzi, Charvaté a poslední Italové; běhá se, počínaje Lucemburskými, již po tmě.

The Slovenes also noted that the runway was uphill.

The racetrack is in a tree-lined avenue in some large square. It seems like it was a bit uphill. In the semi-darkness, you see barely half a path vaguely in front of you.

Slovenski Sokol, 1911, Number 5

Tekališče je v drevoredu na nekem velikem trgu. Zdi se, kakor bi bilo nekoliko navkreber. V polutemi vidiš komaj pol pota nejasno pred seboj.

The darkness is to blame for the poor showing of several gymnasts in the 100 m.

The darkness is to blame for the fact that two Luxembourgers have run out without a start signal – the same is true for our two (Steiner and Svoboda) and Italy; 

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Tma zaviňuje, že vyběhli, bez daného znamení přípravy dva Lucemburští — totéž postihuje i naše dva (Steinera a Svobodu) i Italy; tito zle horší se na toho, kdo dal znamení výstřelem, takže dostávají se do rozporu i se svými krajany.

Several gymnasts had to repeat their runs.

Decreases in the running of our team, the Italians and the Luxembourgers, mostly good runners, are explained by repeated runs.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

Úbytky na běhu u našich, Italů a Lucemburských, vesměs dobrých běžců, vysvětlují se opakovanými běhy.

The Wait

There wasn’t an instant scoreboard. Each team had to guess how they did, and adding up all the scores took time.

At 11 o’clock at night, the team was back in the gym — embracing with their chief. We were sure we were the first. — Tired not as physically as we are mentally from all-day tension, we all go to the station restaurant. But instead of food, we count the points once again for sure and conclude that the Italians must be at least 70 points behind us and the French by 40. — So goes br. Heller to the telegraph office and sends a “necessary” telegram to Prague about our victory. —

For tomorrow, a meeting of the judges was convened at 8 a.m. to complete the totals.

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

O 11. hod. noční bylo již družstvo zpátky v tělocvičně — objímajíc se se svým náčelníkem. Bylo jisto, že jsme první. — Znaveni ne tak tělesně jakoduševně od celodenního napietí, ubíráme se všichni do nádražní restaurace. Ale místo jídla ještě jednou počítáme pro jistotu body a usuzujeme, že Italové musí býti nejméně 70 bodů za námi a Francouzi o 40. — Ubírá se tedy br. Heller na telegrafní úřad a podává »nutný« telegram do Prahy o vítězství našem. —

Na zítří. na 8. hodinu ranní svolána byla schůze soudců ku dokončení součtů.

The first thing the next morning, Mr. Cupérus suggested that the Italians won. But in the end, the Czechs were the victors.

Mr. Cupérus appears, jovial as always, carries the tables and says: Gentlemen, I counted late into the night and I think the Italians are the first. Everyone can imagine what a jolt that was for us. The telegram was sent yesterday so we could be wrong. We didn’t say anything, we just lowered our heads to the papers and counted. After a while, the documents are submitted, recalculated several times. Mr. Cuperus sorts them and says then ceremoniously: So, right, gentlemen: In the first place »Czech union Sokols« — with 974.69 points. The weight fell off our chest. 

Sokol, 1911, Number 7

počítal jsem pozdě do noci a myslím, že Italové jsou první. Jak v nás hrklo, může si každý pomysliti. Telegram byl odeslán včera, abychom se tak byli zmýlili. Neříkali jsme nic, jen hlavy sehnuli níže do listin a počítáme. Po chvilce odevzdávají se listiny několikrát přepočítané. Pan Cuperus je seřadí a praví slavnostně: Tak pište pánové: Na I. místě »Česká Obec Sokolská« — s 974.69 body. Kámen spadl nám s prsou.

Appendix: The Track and Field Events

Here’s how the athletics portions was scored:

Pole Vault:

1.70 m = 1 point
1.80 m = 2 points
1.90 m = 3 points
2.00 m = 4 points
2.10 m = 5 points
2.15 m = 6 points
2.20 m = 7 points
2.25 m = 8 points
2.30 m = 9 points
2.35 m = 10 points
2.40 m = 11.50 points
2.45 m = 13 points
2.50 m = 15 points

Shot Put

7.00 m = 2 points
7.35 m = 3 points
7.60 m = 4 points
7.85 m = 5 points
8.05 m = 6 points
8.25 m = 7 points
8.40 m = 8 points
8.55 m = 9 points
8.65 m = 10 points
8.75 m = 11 points
8.83 m = 12 points
8.90 m = 13 points
8.95 m = 14 points
9.00 m = 15 points

Rope Climb

12 seconds = 0 points
11⅘ seconds = 1 point
11⅗ seconds = 2 points
11⅖ seconds = 3 points
11⅕ seconds = 4 points
11 seconds = 5 points
10⅘ seconds = 6 points
10⅗ seconds = 7 points
10⅖ seconds = 8 points
10⅕ seconds = 9 points
10 seconds = 10 points
9⅘ seconds = 11 points
9⅗ seconds = 12 points
9⅖ seconds = 13 points
9⅕ seconds = 14 points
9 seconds = 15 points

100 m dash

15 seconds = 0 points
14⅘ seconds = 1 point
14⅗ seconds = 2 points
14⅖ seconds = 3 points
14⅕ seconds = 4 points
14 seconds = 5 points
13⅘ seconds = 6 points
13⅗ seconds = 7 points
13⅖ seconds = 8 points
13⅕ seconds = 9 points
13 seconds = 10 points
12⅘ seconds = 11 points
12⅗ seconds = 12 points
12⅖ seconds = 13 points
12⅕ seconds = 14 points
12 seconds = 15 points

Source: Slovenski Sokol, 1910, 7-8

A bit more on the rules for the athletics portion:

It is stipulated: a) to perform the apparatus competition in the morning, floor exercise in the afternoon, b) during the pole vault, the jump is invalid if the competitor touches the rope with his legs, torso, arms, or pole. Stabbing the pole is considered a jump. Failed start without stabbing the pole does not count. — Whoever tries to jump higher than it seems by a regular increase of 10 or 15 cm, has the right to try any omitted lower height. Only one correction is allowed for each jump, c) during the throw, the number of points achieved with the right hand is added up with the points achieved with the throw of the left hand, and the average is scored. Thus, the feet are not scored when climbing, because it is difficult to decide the degree of bent feet. 

Sokol, 1911, Number 6

Stanoveno: a) vykonati závod nářaďový dopoledne, prostý odpoledne, b) při skoku o tyči skok jest neplatný, dotkne-li se závodník provazu ať nohou, či trupem, či paží, či tyčí. Zabodnutí tyče pokládá se za skok. Nezdařený rozběh bez zabodnutí tyče se nečítá. — Kdo pokusí se o skok vyšší nežli připadá pravidelným zvyšováním po 10 neb 15 cm a zavádí, má právo pokusiti se o kteroukoli vynechanou nižší výšku. Každému skoku povoluje se jen jedna oprava, c) při vrhu sečte se počet bodů docílený pravou rukou, s body docílenými hodem levé ruky a vyšetří se průměr. Tedy neznámkuje nohy při šplhu, ježto jest nesnadno rozhodnouti míru pokrčený

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.