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Month: September 2017

Competitive Women’s Rowing in Britain Since 1945: The Shadow of the Nineteenth Century

In recent years, the participation, visibility and success of competitive women’s rowing has increased exponentially. Yet progress with regard to competitive rowing has been uneven, and access to competitive opportunities remains limited and conditional – especially when these opportunities form an important part of the historical identity of the sport in Britain. The Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race, for example, has only involved men’s and women’s openweight crews (Blue Boats and Reserves) on the same day, on the same course, since 2016.  Henley Royal Regatta, one of the most prestigious events in the rowing calendar in Britain and abroad, offers...

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On This Week in Sport history ~ Golf

25th -Today in 1867 Foxhall Parker Keene was born, an American thoroughbred race-horse owner and breeder as well as a world and Olympic gold medallist in polo and an amateur tennis player. He was also rated the best all-around polo player in the United States for eight consecutive years, a golfer who competed in the US Open, and a pioneer race car driver who vied for the Gordon Bennett Cup. In addition to his substantial involvement in flat racing, he was also a founding member of the National Steeplechase Association. An avid golfer, Keene competed in the 1897 US...

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All a Load of Pants? Posing Trunks in Male Bodybuilding Part One

At first glance posing trunks seem an odd subject for historical enquiry. Bodybuilding as a sport is almost entirely devoid of clothing leading one undoubtedly to wonder just what can be gained from studying the miserly cloth that remains. The answer, somewhat surprisingly, is quite a lot. Following a revived interest in bodily development at the dawn of the nineteenth-century, fitness promoters and competitors have sought new ways to display the superiority of their physiques, messages or training systems. Far from an isolated activity such approaches were informed by the societal messages, boundaries and ideals of their day, a...

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‘No fee’ was to be charged for their services: Amateur athletics advisors in 1935. Part 2. Henry Rottenburg, Athletics Innovator.

In December 1935, the Manchester Guardian produced a list of men willing to give talks, lectures and demonstrations to clubs and schools (see Table 1 in Part 1 for details). No fee was to be charged for their services, although it was expected that out-of-pocket expenses would be met.[1] Whilst never professing to be a coach, one of the most interesting men on the Guardian list was Henry (Harry) Rottenburg, M.A., M.I.E.E., who was prepared to give talks of the ‘Correlation of science and athletics’. Born in Glasgow on 6 October 1875, this son of a chemical merchant was...

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On This Week in Sport History – Seoul Olympics 1988

18th– The 1988 weightlifting competition took place at the Ol-lim-pik Gong-won, or Olympic Weightlifting Gymnasium, which was specially constructed for the Seoul Olympics and later became a musical theatre. There were ten events at the tournament – for men only. The flyweight competition was won on this day by Bulgaria’s Sevdalin Marinov, the winner of the previous three World Championships. He opened with a world record snatch of 120.0 kg and also had the best clean & jerk, giving him a world record total of 270.0 kg. Diving was contested at the Indoor Swimming Pool in the Olympic Park...

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