Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 500 metre freestyle

The men's 500 metre freestyle was one of the four swimming events on the Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics programme.

Men's 500 metre freestyle
at the Games of the I Olympiad
Swimming 1896.jpg
Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics
VenueBay of Zea
DateApril 11
Competitors3 from 2 nations
Winning time8:12.6
1st place, gold medalist(s) Paul Neumann
2nd place, silver medalist(s) Antonios Pepanos
3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Efstathios Chorafas

Only three swimmers entered the 500 metre freestyle. Paul Neumann added Austria's first gold medal to Herschmann's silver. Alfréd Hajós, the winner of the 100m, had intended to sweep the three open swimming events, but did not compete in the 500m because it was begun immediately after the 100 metres. Chorophas was the only swimmer to compete in all three events.


This was the only appearance of a 500 metre freestyle event, with 1900 having 200- and 1000-metre events and the now-standard 400 metre event debuting in 1904 (in yards, for that Games only).[1]

Competition formatEdit

This freestyle swimming competition involved a single race, with all swimmers competing at the same time. The swimmers were taken out by ship into the bay, where they would swim toward shore.[1][2]


The 500 metre freestyle was the third of the swimming events, held shortly after the 100 metre freestyle and the sailor-only 100 metre freestyle.[2]

Date Time Round
Gregorian Julian
Saturday, 11 April 1896 Saturday, 30 March 1896 11:00 Final


Rank Swimmer Nation Time
  Paul Neumann   Austria 8:12.6
  Antonios Pepanos   Greece 9:57.6
  Efstathios Chorafas   Greece Unknown


  1. ^ a b "500 metres Freestyle, Men". Olympedia. Retrieved 18 December 2020.
  2. ^ a b Official Report, part 2, p. 96.