OLYMPIC GAMES: 1924, Pierre Lewden bronze medalist in high jump

Ⓒ Gazette Sports

A specialist in high jump and pole vault, Pierre Lewden did well in the height game by winning bronze at the Paris Games in 1924.

At the 1924 Paris Olympic Games, Finnish athlete Paavo Nurmi and American swimmer Johnny Weissmuller were the big stars, winning numerous gold medals. In athletics, the French did well, like jumper Pierre Lewden who got on the podium and won the bronze medal with a jump of 1.92 m. A jump all the more incredible as it only measured 1.68 m and it makes us think of Marie Collonvillé from Amiens who was not very tall, but managed remarkable jumps.

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Pierre Lewden was born in 1901 in Libourne and he was French champion five times (he died in 1989, editor’s note). Pierre Lewden invented the scissor technique with interior reversal. A technique that would remain in place for a good thirty years until 1968 in Mexico when the American Fossbury revolutionized the specialty by crossing the bar on his back. To return to the Paris Games, Pierre Lewden was one of the rare French medalists in athletics.

The high jump was at that time a key discipline at the Games. Let us first recall that the high jump has always been on the Olympic program, and has been since 1896. At these Paris Games in 1924, the Olympic oath was pronounced by Géo André who obtained the silver medal with a jump from 1.88 m at the London Games in 1908. Pierre Lewden participated in three Olympic Games in 1920, 1924 and 1928. In Amsterdam, he was flag bearer for the French delegation.

Lionel Herbet
Photo credit: DR

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