At the Olympic Games 1912 in Stockholm the Russian team of athletes took second to last place among the eigtheen countries-participants. One magazine called this to be “shame of all Russian people”. To prevent such failures in future the great prince Romanov ordered to arrange Russian Olympics annually since then. The first one took place in Kiev.
Exercises with rakes.
They specially built barracks for changing, storehouses and premises for theoretical classes.
Exercises with scythes.
National dance with rakes.
For those who were far from sport such instruments were rather heavy. Classes were held in the open air regardless of the weather, participants were bare to the waist. Their bodies became almost black. They had classes in gymnastics, athletics, fencing, steeplechase, running with ammunition, cycling etc. Some activities were rather unusual.
The Olympics were opened in August 20th, 1913. There were about ten thousand spectators, 600 participants from fifteen sports organizations and nine cities of the Empire at the ceremony.
Golden medal of the Russian olympics 1913.
At the games eight Russian records and one world record were broken. Those Games were the first where women took part (and they did rather well, thus, an athlet Natalia Popova overcame the 100 m distance for 13,1 seconds and set the world record among women that remained unbeaten for seven years).
The history of marathon running started from that Olympics too. However the 40,7 km distance was accepted with a doubt. Magazines wrote “It is inquisition! Barbarity!”, “For God’s sake, why do they need to run 38 versts!?”, “Such distance is hard even for cars!”, “It makes no sense to run this much!”
Medals like this were given to those who took second and third places.
It should be noticed that the Games were organized poorly. None of the arenas was ready for competitions. The range and the will of the Kiev citizens was huge but it was Saint-Petersburg whose citizens had to finish everything that was left by the southeners.
Next year, in August 1914, the second Russian Olympics took place in Riga, Latvia. No more Olympics like that were ever held in Russia.