The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Champion Athletes at Birmingham
Champion Athletes at Birmingham

Champion Athletes at Birmingham 1902


This film is certified

Please confirm that you accept our terms of use.


Champion Athletes at Birmingham 1902

12 mins United Kingdom

Amateur athletics was hugely popular in the Edwardian era, but only three films of athletics meetings survive in the Mitchell & Kenyon collection. It's a densely-packed record, with excellent coverage of track and field events, presentations and crowds, and vignettes of the champions. Plus there's an early screen heartthrob in American sprinter Arthur Duffey, who teasingly blows a kiss to camera.

Duffey's fellow American Samuel Jones, the champion high-jumper, is also singled out by the filmmakers. These shots reflect the extent of American domination of athletics at the time. Duffey - the Usain Bolt of his day - had been the hot favourite for the 1900 Paris Olympics, but injury denied him victory in the 100 yards final. Look out for the on-screen advert for the New Century Pictures cinematograph exhibition at Birmingham's Curzon Hall, where this title was shown, alongside a range of other films including Lord Kitchener's Return. The Birmingham Daily Mail review delighted at the "capital animated pictures of the Birmingham Athletic Club Sports on Saturday."




Spectators Athletics Musicians Birmingham Sports meetings Kitchener, Horatio (1850-1916)


Edwardian Sports




United Kingdom



Production company

Mitchell and Kenyon

Read lessRead more
Part of

1,000s of beautifully preserved films, capturing 120 years of Britain on Film

The map

Explore further


View All

Welcome to a new subscription service like no other.

>100s of hand-picked classics and critically-acclaimed films

>Critic Mark Kermode picks a must-see film every week

>No contract, cancel anytime

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts

Never ask | Ask me later