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  • John Flanagan was a three-time Olympic gold medalist in the hammer throw: 1900, 1904, and 1908. John Flanagan was born in Kilbreedy, County Limerick, Ireland on January 9, 1873. He emigrated to the United States in 1896. At that time he already held the world record for the hammer throw. He competed for both the New York Athletic Club and the Irish American Athletic Club. He was part of a group of Irish-American athletes known as the "Irish Whales." In 1900 Flanagan represented his new country at the Olympic Games in Paris, France. Flanagan, the only non-college man to medal for the Americans, outdistanced American athlete Truxtun Hare by 4.75 meters in the hammer throw. Hare and Josiah McCracken, both college football players from Pennsylvania, took silver and bronze. Flanagan also competed in the discus throw, finishing seventh. Flanagan joined the New York City Police Department in 1903. His first assignment was the Bureau of Licenses, where he had little to do and could take time off to train and compete. In 1904, sporting the Winged Fist of the Irish American Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri Olympic Games Flanagan set a new world record of 168 feet, 1 inch.

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