100 days of Kansas City-area Olympians: John Nicholson, track and field

John Nicholson Olympics hurdles.jpeg
Posted at 8:00 AM, May 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-08 09:01:00-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The first Olympian in University of Missouri history, John Nicholson was poised to win a medal at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics before a stumble took him out of the running.

He qualified first for the final with the fastest heat time.

Nicholson was running neck-and-neck with two fellow U.S. hurdlers, eventual gold medalist Fred Kelly and silver medalist James Wendell, midway through the 110-meter hurdles.

Nicholson fell on the eighth hurdle, winding up sixth after failing to finish the race.

He also competed in the high jump, but failed to clear a height, and qualified in the long jump, but did not compete.

Earlier in 1912, he had won the AAU national title in the high hurdles, competing for Mizzou.

Nicholson went on to coach track at Notre Dame, DePauw University and Rice University. He also coached track and football at the Sewanee in Tennessee.

The Kansas City region has a deep, rich history with respect to the Olympic Games. As the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games approach with the Opening Ceremony scheduled for July 23, we will profile an athlete with ties to Kansas City, Missouri or Kansas each day.

41 Action News and is your home of the Tokyo Olympics. Follow our coverage and check outour complete list of 100 Kansas City-area Olympians as it is revealed.