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Olympic medalist
John Pius Boland
Medal record
Men's Tennis
Gold 1896 Athens Singles
Gold 1896 Athens Doubles

John Mary Pius Boland (16 September 1870 – 17 March 1958) was an Irish Nationalist politician, and Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and as member of the Irish Parliamentary Party for South Kerry 1900-1918.

Boland was educated at two private catholic schools, one Irish, the second English, and both of whose existence and evolution were influenced by John Henry, later Cardinal Newman - the Catholic University School and The Oratory School, Birmingham (re-located to near Reading) where he became head boy. His secondary education in the two schools either side of the Irish Sea helped give him the foundation and understanding to play an influential role in the politics of Great Britain and Ireland at the beginning of the 20th century, when he was a member of the Irish Parliamentary Party which pursued constitutional Home Rule.

Boland studied law at Christ Church, Oxford. He also studied in Bonn, Germany, where he was a member of Bavaria Bonn, a student fraternity that is member of the Cartellverband.

Success at the First Olympics

He was the first Olympic champion in tennis for Great Britain and Ireland at the first modern Olympics which took place in Athens in 1896.

Boland visited his friend Thrasyvoalos Manaos in Athens during the 1896 Summer Olympics. Manaos, a member of the organizing committee, entered Boland in the tennis tournament. Boland promptly won the singles tournament, defeating Friedrich Traun of Germany in the first round, Evangelos Rallis of Greece in the second, Konstantinos Paspatis of Greece in the semifinals, and Dionysios Kasdaglis of Egypt in the final.

Boland then entered the doubles event with Traun, the German runner whom he had defeated in the first round of the singles. Together, they won the doubles event. They defeated Aristidis and Konstantinos Akratopoulos of Greece in the first round, had a bye in the semifinals, and defeated Demetrios Petrokokkinos of Greece and Kasdaglis in the final.

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Joseph Farrell
MP for South Kerry
1900 – 1918
Succeeded by
Fionán Lynch


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