France at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Twelve athletes from France competed in six sports at the 1896 Summer Olympics. France won the fourth-most gold medals with 5 and the fourth-most total medals with 11. Cycling was the sport in which the French competitors had the most success, as they completely dominated the field. The French team had 27 entries in 18 events, winning 11 medals.

France at the
1896 Summer Olympics
Flag of France.svg
NOCFrench National Olympic and Sports Committee (in French)
in Athens
Competitors12 in 6 sports
Ranked 4th
Summer Olympics appearances (overview)
Other related appearances
1906 Intercalated Games


Medal Name Sport Event Date
  Gold Paul Masson Cycling Men's 10 km April 11
Men's time trial April 11
Men's sprint April 11
  Gold Léon Flameng Cycling Men's 100 km April 8
  Gold Eugène-Henri Gravelotte Fencing Men's foil April 7
  Silver Alexandre Tuffère Athletics Men's triple jump April 6
  Silver Léon Flameng Cycling Men's 10 km April 11
  Silver Henri Callot Fencing Men's foil April 7
  Silver Joanni Perronet Fencing Men's masters foil April 7
  Bronze Albin Lermusiaux Athletics Men's 1500 m April 7
  Bronze Léon Flameng Cycling Men's sprint April 11

Results by eventEdit


The five French athletes won 2 medals between them. Tuffère appears to have entered the 100 metres but not started; some sources have André Tournois in the first heat of the 100 metres instead of Grisel.[1][2][3][4] Grisel entered the triple jump, but did not start.

Track and road events
Athlete Events Heat Final
Result Rank Result Rank
Adolphe Grisel 100 m Unknown Unknown Did not advance
Adolphe Grisel 400 m Unknown Unknown Did not advance
Frantz Reichel Unknown Unknown Did not advance
Albin Lermusiaux 800 m 2:16.6 1 Q DNS
Georges de la Nézière Unknown Unknown Did not advance
Albin Lermusiaux 1500 m n/a 4:37.0  
Frantz Reichel 110 m hurdles Unknown 3 Did not advance
Albin Lermusiaux marathon N/A DNF
Field events
Athlete Events Final
Result Rank
Adolphe Grisel Discus throw Unknown 5–9
Alexandre Tuffère Triple jump 12.70  
Adolphe Grisel Long jump[4] 5.83 5
Alexandre Tuffère 5.98 4


Leon Flameng and Paul Masson

France dominated the cycling events, taking 4 of the 6 gold medals. Three were won by Paul Masson who won every event he entered, with Léon Flameng adding the fourth as well as a silver and a bronze. One of the two won each event that a Frenchman contested; the two gold medals won by other countries were in competitions that Masson and Flameng did not enter.

Cyclist Event Time / Distance Rank
Paul Masson Time trial 24.0  
Sprint 4:58.2  
10 km 17:54.2  
Léon Flameng Time trial 27.0 5
Sprint Unknown  
10 km 17:54.8  
100 km 3:08:19.2  


Group of French and Greek fencers at 1896 Summer Olympics
The final sword match 1896 Summer Olympics

The French fencers were held in high regard prior to the Games; Gravelotte and Callot validated those expectations in the amateur foil competition. Each went undefeated in their pool, advancing to face each other in the final. Gravelotte won the first-to-3 bout. Surprisingly, however, Perronet lost to the Greek Leonidas Pyrgos in the only match of the masters competition.

Fencer Event Record Touches Round robin Final Rank
Wins Losses For Against
Eugène-Henri Gravelotte Foil 4 0 12 7 1st
Group B
  Callot (FRA)
W 3–1
Henri Callot 3 1 11 7 1st
Group A
  Gravelote (FRA)
L 3–1
Henri Delaborde 1 2 5 8 3rd
Group A
Did not advance 5
Joanni Perronet Masters foil 0 1 1 3 N/A   Pyrgos (GRE)
L 3–1
Opponent nation Wins Losses Percent
Greece 6 2 .750
Total international 6 2 .750
France 2 2 .500
Total 8 4 .667


Grisel competed in the parallel bars in the gymnastics program. The competitions had no formal scoring, the judges merely selecting the winner and runner-up. Grisel was neither in this competition.


Gymnast Event Result Rank
Adolphe Grisel Parallel bars Unknown 3–18


Lermusiaux entered the military rifle event in the shooting program. His score and placing are unknown.

Shooter Event Hits Score Rank
Albin Lermusiaux 200 m military rifle Unknown Unknown 14–41


Only the first initial and last name of the French tennis player in 1896 is known. He was defeated in the first round of the singles tournament.

Player Event First round Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
J. Defert Singles   Kasdaglis (GRE)
Did not advance
Opponent nation Wins Losses Percent
Greece 0 1 .000
Total 0 1 .000


  1. ^ Butler, Maynard. The Olympic Games. In Mallon & Widlund, pp. 37–41.
  2. ^ Ekkehard zur Megede : The history of Olympic athletics. Volume 1: 1896-1936. Verlag Bartels & Wernitz KG, Berlin, 2nd edition 1970.
  3. ^ "100 metres, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b "JEUX OLYMPIQUES" (PDF). Retrieved 4 March 2017.