Thomas strychnine he would have not2been able to recover

Thomas Hicks was an American track and field athlete who participated in the Olympic Games and isknown for his significant marathon race during the 1904 Summer Olympics.4Hicks was a brass worker born inEngland but lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts.2Hicks was one of the first two men to cross the finish line in themarathon and was soon after granted first place once the other winner was disqualified.2Throughout the race,Hicks was receiving some support on the sidelines. At the 19thmile marker, Hicks began to feel ill so his coachand support crew decided to administer 1/60 grain of sulphate and strychnine within a raw egg.2Strychnine isusually used as rat poison but also works as a stimulant for the central nervous system when given as a smalldose.3It functions by controlling muscle contractions in which if given a large dose can result in whole bodyconvulsions that can lead to paralysis and death.3Throughout the race, Hicks was given two more eggs with thesame doses incorporated along with an alcoholic drink called Remy Martin.2He continued the race, experiencinghallucinations and dizziness throughout the remainder of the course. During the last mile, Hicks began to walk ashe reached for the finish line. He crossed the finish line at three hours and twenty-eight minutes.2It wasdiscovered that Hicks had lost 10 pounds during the event and actually collapsed after the race.2When he reachedthe finish line, two men picked him up before he collapsed and as they held him, Hicks continued to shuffle hisfeet as is still running.2He was too weak to collect his medal.2Some protests against Hicks’ chemical aids came about but the judges decided this was acceptable andcrowned Hicks the winner. It is believed that if Hicks had taken another dose of strychnine he would have not2been able to recover and could have died. Strychnine first appeared during this marathon race which is has sincebeen known as one the most chaotic races ever in which temperatures were as high as 32 degrees Celsius and therunners only had one source of water at the 11-mile mark.2The course was on ran on dusty country roads withrace officials following the runners along the way.2Only fourteen of the thirty-two athletes were able to finish therace2. Such conditions may have impacted Hicks decisions and motivations towards taking strychnine in order tocomplete and win the race. It was discovered that Hicks was administered a total of three milligrams of strychninesulphate along with alcohol to keep him functioning. At the time, doping controls were not performed, but afterthis incident, research began appearing relating to the mechanisms of such drugs and how they contribute tooverall performance. Hicks remained listed as the winner of the 1904 Olympic Marathon winner.In 1900, Hicks participated in his first Boston Marathon where he placed sixth.1In 1901, Hicks placedfifth in the Boston Marathon with no record of taking any performance enhancing drugs.1In 1904, Hicks ended upplacing second in the eighth Boston Marathon.1According to Hicks previous races and placements, it isspeculated that the use of strychnine may have aided Hicks in completing and ultimately receiving the gold medalduring his final race which was the 1904 Olympic Marathon.4Hicks reported feeling ill near the 19thmile markand the use of the strychnine along with alcohol may have given Hicks the extra boost to continue the race andovercome the harsh conditions relating to the weather and path.4The several doses taken throughout the raceindeed showed side effects over the course of the path as well as outcomes following the race. Hicks began tohallucinate and experience lightheadedness while competing in the race and eventually began to walk near the endof the race. He was later assisted by others because he was unable to stand up. Such outcomes are due to thecombined use of the drug with alcohol along with other factors such as high temperatures and minimal waterintake. These conditions all played a role in Hicks performance as well as his severe health conditions followingcompletion of the race.The 1904 Marathon Olympics remains a large topic in sports history because it sparked attention towardsdrug usage correlating to performance along with helping start a movement in creating restrictions in an effort toeliminate certain drugs.3Hicks experience created many titles over time including what Los Angeles Times titles”Sports Legend Revealed: A marathon runner nearly died because of drugs he took to help him win.”3This racewas known for several reasons including the severe conditions, the other runner (John Lorz) getting disqualifieddue to cheating, and Hicks scandal relating to drug and alcohol intake during the race. Strychnine continued toappear among athlete’s due to its enhancing effects. After the 1904 Olympic Marathon, Hicks retired fromrunning and transitioned his career to working as a clown.4Although Hicks experienced critical outcomesfollowing the race, he was able to recover and lived until the age of 76, passing away in 1952.4After muchexperimenting on the effects of strychnine, Hicks is reportedly considered lucky to have survived and to haverecovered even after taking several doses along with alcohol while competing.3

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