June 2005 > Sports > Olympics
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Lot 1757: Number 26 Worn by Johnny Hayes in the 1908 Olympic Marathon
Number "26" bib worn by American Johnny Hayes when he won the wild first Olympic marathon at the 1908 London Games. In the race, Italian runner Dorando Pietro entered the stadium for the final lap ahead of the field but collapsed a few yards from the finish line and was helped across the line by track officials. Moments later, Hayes finished second, but American officials protested that because Pietro was aided and Hayes was declared the winner. The bib was signed by Hayes in the hole of the "6" to his Irish American Athletic Club teammate Harvey Cohn, later the Dartmouth track coach and Boston Celtics trainer who presented to Celtic owner Walter Brown. Bib is preserved under glass mounted in a 9 x 10 1/2" frame, the inscription "To my friend Harvey Cohn, With My Best Wishes from Johnny Hayes" still clearly legible. "Presented to Walter Brown" is on lower right. Bib is understandly a bit tattered and the number faded, grading G, but what an historical piece it is! Display itself is a great sports antique as well, the cardboard backing showing soilage and other age damage, but is a great one of a kind piece. Includes a copy of an article of the race with a shot of Hayes in the bib. Unbelievable!
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