"BE AN INDIAN AND KEEP COOL"
ON JULY 6, 1912, less than one year after Ishi stumbled out of the northern California chaparral, the straw-hatted United States Olympic contingent paraded into Stockholm Stadium, ready to battle the world's best athletes. American chances looked slim. The European sports community derided the American athletes as over-specialized mongrels, capable of excelling perhaps in one or two events, but not very good athletes overall. Some even stated publicly that, as castoffs from the continent, the Americans lacked the heart and eugenic fitness of world-class European athletes.
In an unprecedented move, the Scandinavian host countries successfully lobbied to introduce two new Olympic events, the pentathlon and decathlon, designed to showcase the all-around prowess of the Scandinavian athlete. Their homefield advantage secure, the northern European teams looked forward to embarrassing an outclassed American team.