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Ralph Waldo Rose (March 17, 1885October 16, 1913) was an Americanmarker track and field athlete.

He was born in Healdsburg, Californiamarker.

A giant of a man at 6' 5 1/2" and 250 pounds, Rose was the first shot putter to break 50 feet. His world record of 51' 0", set in 1909, lasted for 16 years. In 1904, while at the University of Michiganmarker, he won both the shot put and discus at the Big Ten championships. He subsequently competed for the Olympic Clubmarker in San Francisco, Californiamarker and won seven National AAU titles in the shot, discus and javelin. A competitor in three Olympic Games, Rose compiled a medal total of three golds, two silver and one bronze. At the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missourimarker, USAmarker, he won the shot, was second in the discus, third in the hammer throw and sixth in the 56-pound weight throw.

Four years later, in Londonmarker, Englandmarker, he repeated as the shot put champion. At the opening ceremony Rose, the US flag bearer, refused (supported by a majority of his mostly Irish-descended US teammates) to dip the flag to the royal box, as other countries did. Martin Sheridan supposedly explained Rose's action with the terse statement, "This flag dips to no earthly king." According to legend, this caused acrimony between the United States and Great Britain. Several decisions by British judges went against American athletes during the games, and U.S. spokesmen felt they stemmed from bias, caused in part by the flag incident. However, there is no reliable evidence that the British spectators objected to Rose's action, nor that Sheridan ever uttered his famous quote, which did not appear in print until 1952.

At the 1908 Summer Olympicsmarker Rose competed in the tug of war but not successfully.

In the 1912 Olympics in Stockholmmarker, Swedenmarker, he won the two-handed shot put (throwing a total of 27.70 m (90' 10½") with his right and left hands), took second in the regular shot, ninth in the hammer and 11th in the discus.

At the age of 28 he died in San Francisco of typhoid fever.

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