On the second day the aborigines did better in their own kind of contest: pole climbing. An Igorot from the Philippines climbed a pole about 50 feet high in 20 2/5 seconds. The American record for rope climbing, considered to be the nearest thing to pole climbing, was 15 4/5 seconds for 35 feet 8 inches of rope. The aborigines turned out to be a disappointment in spear throwing. Only three of them out of a couple of dozen could hit a post 25 feet away. They proved duds at archery also, and a target, four feet by six, 42 yards away, was pierced by only two of the entrants, though some of them had used bows and arrows for hunting and righting most of their lives. The Pygmies, however, shone in one of their favorite games—the mud fight. It resembled a snowball fight among schoolboys, and they showed great dexterity in ducking the mud.
In the recognized Olympic contests, Americans won 23 of the 24 track and field events, but they had little competition. All in all they gained 48 gold medals.
Spalding's Official Athletic Almanac for 1905 began its article on the St. Louis Olympiad with these words: "The Olympic Games of 1904, held in the stadium of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, at St. Louis, were without question the greatest athletic games ever held in the world."
Baron Pierre de Coubertin wrote of them: "In no place but America would one have dared place such events on a program—but to Americans everything is permissible, their youthful exuberance calling certainly for the indulgence of the ancient Greek ancestors, if, by chance, they found themselves at that time among the amused spectators."