Marathon Runner Dies At Olympic Games In Sweden
Several countries were making their first appearance at an Olympics in 1912. Japan was the first Asian country to compete and Egypt, Iceland, Serbia and Portugal made their premiere. The standard bearer for Portugal was Francisco Lazaro, a carpenter in an automobile factory in Lisbon. He had run and won 3 national marathon championships in Portugal and was entered in the Marathon in Stockholm.
On July 14, 1912 the Marathon event took place at the Summer Olympic Games. At the 30 kilometer mark, Lazaro collapsed and could not be revived. His is the first death to occur at a modern Olympic Games. It was discovered Lazaro covered large portions of his body with wax to prevent sunburns and this impeded his ability to perspire leading to a serious body fluid electrolytic imbalance.