25 August-Tom Kiely

Tom Kiely was a native of Co Tipperary, Ireland. He won a gold medal in the decathlon in the 1904 Olympic Games. At the time the event was known as the All-around. All ten events were held on the one day, July 4th.

Tom Kiely was born Thomas Francis Kiely in Ballyneale near Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary in 1869. A successful athlete, he was the winner of titles in Ireland, England and America during his career. In 1904 the British team offered to pay his expenses to compete in the 1904 Olympics in St Louis. He was also offered American sponsorship.

Kiely refused both offers and raised his own funds. He made it clear that he would represent only Ireland at the Olympic Games. Having won the gold medal Kiely returned to Ireland to a hero’s welcome. A monument to him was erected in home village in 1978. The inscription on the monument reads: ‘Thomas F Kiely, World All Round Champion, St. Louis, 1904’.

Tom Kiely, winner of the gold medal in the Decathlon in the 1904 Olympic Games was born in Co Tipperary, Ireland in the year 1869 On This Day.

Tom Kiely.JPG

Tom Kiely

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