The outstanding Irish-born personality of the early years of the Olympic Games was Tom Kiely, who won the all-round Championship, the forerunner of the Modern Decathlon, at the Games in St. Louis in 1904.
His victory was claimed by the United Kingdom or Great Britain but the Olympic historians Dr. Derenc Meso and David Guiney have now established beyond argument that Kiely was, in fact, representing Ireland and indeed paid his own expenses in travelling from Ireland to St. Louis.
Tom Kiely hailed from Ballyneale just outside Carrick-on-Suir and achieved his gold in 1904 becoming the first Olympic multi-event track champion for 16 centuries.
Tom Kiely's win in the Decathlon, then known as the "All-Around Championship" was noteworthy as all ten events were held on the same day.
The events were: 100yds, Shot Putt, High Jump 800yard walk, Hammer, Pole Vault, 120yards Hurdles, 56lbs Weight Throw, Long Jump, Mile.
For further information, please visit the Tom Kiely Wikipedia page.