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Chris Chase

Great Olympic Events of Yore: Dueling pistol

Chris Chase
Fourth-Place Medal

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Olympic scholars debate whether the Intercalated Games of 1906 should be considered official. If naysayers knew that dueling pistol was one of the events in those controversial Olympics, said debate would be over on account of awesomeness.

Let me stop you right there. No, the competitors didn't actually shoot at one another. Had the O.K. Corral been successful in its bid to land the '06 Games, maybe that would have been an option. But Athens got the nod, so no actual dueling, which made the ghost of Aaron Burr very upset.

What did happen was that participants stood 30 meters from dummies dressed in a buttoned frock coat with a bulls-eye painted in the middle of the chest. They shot, and whomever was closest earned the most points. Leon Moreaux of France was the first, and only, winner of this competition. The Frenchman's victory came only after he was told that surrendering to the dummy was not an option.

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