George Eyser was an interesting man. Not only did he survive being run over by a train and the loss his left leg, Eyser participated at the 1904 Summer Olympic games held in St. Louis. As a gymnast with the U.S.-based Concordia Turnverein Gymnastic Team, he competed with a wooden prosthesis. When the games closed, Eyser was the third top medalist of the Games and took home three golds, two silvers and one bronze – all in one day!
|Silver||Combined 4 events|
Eyser was born in Germany before immigrating to the United States at the age of fourteen. His family settled in Denver and later moved to St. Louis. Eyser worked as a book-keeper for a construction company and, in 1894, he became a U.S. citizen. He was a member of the Concordia gymnastics team when the Olympics came to town. Four years after the games, Eyser won at an international meet in Frankfurt, Germany as well as the National Turnfest in Cincinnati in 1909.
Not much else is known about Eyser’s later life. However, his story leading up to the Olympics and his inspiring achievements at the games is what makes Eyser a quintessential Olympian.
Prior to 2008, Eyser was the only person with an artificial leg to have competed at the Olympic Games.