100 Days of Kansas City-area Olympians: Lee Talbott, track and field

Lee Talbott 1908 Olympian.jpg
Posted at 7:00 AM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 08:00:21-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Leander “Lee” Talbott was a rarity among U.S. Olympic athletes, competing in three sports and a total of five events during the 1908 London Olympics.

He’s the only athlete to compete in three sports at a single Olympic Games.

Talbott, who was born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1887, competed in the shot put, discus and hammer throw.

He also participated in freestyle wrestling in the heavyweight division and was part of the U.S. tug-of-war team, which “withdrew in disgust” after a protest over the footwear worn by the Liverpool Police team was dismissed.

Talbott finished fifth in the hammer throw, sixth in the discus and eight in the shot put.

He lost to the eventual gold-medal winner Con O’Kelly Sr. of Great Britain in the first round of the single-elimination wrestling competition.

Competing for the Kansas City Athletic Club, he won AAU national titles in the hammer throw and 56-pound weight throw in 1909 and repeated as weight-throw champion in 1915.

Those three performances were among 20 top-three finishes for Talbott in the shot put, discus, hammer throw and weight throw from 1909 to 1917.