Lázaro was the first athlete to die during an Olympic event, after collapsing at the 30 kilometer mark of the marathon. The cause of death was thought to be severe dehydration due to the high temperature registered at the time of the race; later it was discovered Lázaro covered large portions of his body with wax to prevent sunburns, but eventually the wax impermeability restricted the athlete’s natural perspiration, leading to a serious body fluid electrolytic imbalance.
Found via @historyweird:
1912: Portuguese runner Francisco Lazaro drops dead during the Olympic marathon. He had coated his body with several pounds of melted wax.
— Weird History (@historyweird) May 8, 2012
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