, However, the country had financial troubles and was in political turmoil. The rules of the International Cycling Association were used for the cycling competitions. The track-and-field competition was dominated by athletes from the United States, who won 9 of the 12 events. Their efforts culminated on 7 January 1895 when Vikelas announced that crown prince Constantine would assume the presidency of the organising committee. 1896: Athens Greece: First Modern Olympic Games: The first modern Olympic games was held in Athens, Greece. The Panathinaiko Stadium attracted what at the time were largest crowds in sporting history but, despite perceived success of 1896 games, event didn’t return to Athens until 2004 –100 years later. The race became the highlight of the Games and was won by Spyridon Louis, a Greek whose victory earned him the lasting admiration of his nation. In the track events, the best cyclist was Frenchman Paul Masson, who won the one lap time trial, the sprint event, and the 10,000 meters. , With the prospect of reviving the Olympic games very much in doubt, Coubertin and Vikelas commenced a campaign to keep the Olympic movement alive. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The 1896 Olympics is also remembered for being the first games to organise a marathon race. The latter won and advanced into the final, where he met Georgios Tsitas, who had previously defeated Stephanos Christopoulos. She was denied entry into the official race as the 1896 Olympics excluded women from competition.. Organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which had been created by Pierre de Coubertin, it was held in Athens, Greece, from 6 to 15 April 1896. Over 65% of all athletes were Greek. Originally, the ancient Olympic Games were held in Ancient Greece at Olympia.The first games were in 776 BC. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formed, and the first Games were planned for 1896 in Athens, the capital of Greece. Olympic Games: Athens, Greece, 1896 The inaugural Games of the modern Olympics were attended by as many as 280 athletes, all male, coming from 12 countries. Tennis was a sport unfamiliar to Greeks at the time of the 1896 Games. The first modern Games weren’t met with such enormous fanfare, however, given that they began on April 6, 1896. As a result, the 1896 Summer Olympics programme featured 9 sports encompassing 10 disciplines and 43 events. The highlight for the Greeks was the marathon victory by their compatriot Spyridon Louis. In the following years both Coubertin and Demetrius Vikelas would offer recollections of the selection process that contradicted the official minutes of the congress. At the opening of the Athens Games, King Georgios I of Greece and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed athletes from 13 nations to the international competition. John Pius Boland, who won the event, had been entered in the competition by a fellow-student of his at Oxford; the Greek, Konstantinos Manos. All subsequent Olympiads have been numbered even when no Games take place (as in 1916, during World War I, and in 1940 and 194… This makes Chile one of the 14 nations to appear at the inaugural Summer Olympic Games. With deep feeling towards Baron de Coubertin's courteous petition, I send him and the members of the Congress, with my sincere thanks, my best wishes for the revival of the Olympic Games. Panathinaiko Stadium. Burke was the only one who used the "crouch start" (putting his knee on soil), confusing the jury. Mallon & Widlund calculate 245 athletes, while De Wael finds 246. Tennis was a sport unfamiliar to Greeks at the time of the 1896 Games. To highlight his victory, two Greek princes joined Louis on the track and ran with him to the finish line. The water in the bay was cold, and the competitors suffered during their races. In addition, the curves of the track were very tight, making fast times in the running events virtually impossible. However, the event could not be completed due to darkness and was finalised the next morning, when Georgios Orphanidis was crowned the champion. The International Olympic Committee gives a figure of 14, but does not list them. The number of events in each discipline is noted in parentheses. The 1870 Olympics at the Panathenaic stadium, which had been refurbished for the occasion, had an audience of 30,000 people. It was a huge success, and plans quickly began for the 1900 […] Updates? Most accounts hold that several congressmen first proposed London as the location, but Coubertin dissented. The velodrome would be renovated into a football stadium in 1964 and was known as Karaiskakis Stadium. The Modern Olympics, A Struggle for Revival by David C. Young, Chapter 4, Mullins, "Pierre de Coubertin and the Wenlock Olympian Games", Memoire sure le conflit entre la Grece et la Roumanie concernant l'affaire Zappa – Athens 1893, by F. Martens, L'affaire Zappa – Paris 1894, by G. Streit, Young (1996), 118. Therefore, the selection of Athens for the celebration of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 was a natural outcome. Key The Regatta could not take place because some special boats embarkation had not been provided for. The first Olympic Games was held in Athens, Greece, and had nine sports on the program.There were also some demonstration sports in 1896. Coubertin, however, was heavily opposed to this idea, as he envisioned international rotation as one of the cornerstones of the modern Olympics. Summer Games have been held every four years since, except during wartime in 1916, 1940 and 1944. Vikelas made the Athens proposal official on 23 June, and since Greece had been the original home of the Olympics, the congress unanimously approved the decision. These games were the first modern Olympic Games and the first Games since Roman emperor Theodosius I banned the Ancient Olympic Games in 393 as part of the Christian campaign against paganism. There were three open events (men's 100-metre freestyle, men's 500-metre freestyle, and men's 1200 metre freestyle), in addition to a special event open only to Greek sailors, all of which were held on the same day (11 April).. On April 6, 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens. Ticket sales added 200,000 drachmas. ", Afterwards, nine bands and 150 choir singers performed an Olympic Hymn, composed by Spyridon Samaras, with words by poet Kostis Palamas. Paul Masson of France won three of the six cycling events. The top two places were won by the same two men in each event, though their order was reversed for the two events. Sports at the 1896 Olympic Games. The King then formally announced that the first Olympiad was at an end, and left the Stadium, while the band played the Greek national hymn and the crowd cheered.  The Panathenaic Stadium was filled with an estimated 80,000 spectators, including King George I of Greece, his wife Olga, and their sons. The inaugural Games of the modern Olympics were attended by as many as 280 athletes, all male, coming from 12 countries. Subercaseaux's results are not listed in the official report, though that report typically includes only winners and Subercaseaux won no medals. The number of countries here reflects the number used by most modern sources. Coubertin went on to confirm that, "the King and the Crown Prince will confer their patronage on the holding of these games." The games took place from April 6 to 15, 1896. Weightlifting at the 1896 Summer Olympics, "Factsheet - Opening Ceremony of the Games f the Olympiad". Pierre de Coubertin (January 1, 1863–September 2, 1937) was the founder of the modern Olympics.His campaign to promote athletic activities began as a lonely crusade, but it slowly gained support and he was able to organize the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896. James B. Connolly poses with a U.S. flag at the first modern international Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. However this event had to be given up.  In 1890, Coubertin wrote an article in La Revue Athletique, which espoused the importance of Much Wenlock a rural market town in the English county of Shropshire. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. , News that the Olympic Games would return to Greece was well received by the Greek public, media, and royal family. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. On 6 April (25 March according to the Julian calendar then in use in Greece), the games of the First Olympiad were officially opened; it was Easter Monday for both the Western and Eastern Christian Churches and the anniversary of Greece's independence. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. The final event, the free rifle, began on the same day. The athletics (track-and-field) events were held at the Panathenaic Stadium. Two competitors stood out: Scotsman Launceston Elliot and Viggo Jensen of Denmark. In the opening ceremony, King Georgios I and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed 280 participants from 13 nations (all male), who would compete in 43 events, including track and field, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, cycling, tennis, weightlifting, shooting and fencing. With these words on April 6, 1896, King George I of Greece welcomed the crowd that had gathered in the newly reconstructed Panathenean Stadium to the modern-day Olympic Summer Games. Because of this financial and political instability, both prime minister Trikoupis and Stephanos Dragoumis, the president of the Zappas Olympic Committee, which had attempted to organise a series of national Olympiads, believed that Greece could not host the event. Unlike today, the first-place winners received a silver medal, an olive branch and a diploma, while runners-up received a copper medal, a laurel branch, and diploma. Over 65% of the competing athletes were Greek. His first responsibility was to raise the funds necessary to host the Games. Egypt is also sometimes included because of Dionysios Kasdaglis' participation. Aug 4, 2012 - The first Olympic games of modern era - 1896 Athens, Greece. Timeline. In Greece the amateurism of athletes debate was taken a step further to encompass the question of the participation of the lower classes in the Games. A total of seven men from five nations competed. No weight classes existed for the wrestling competition, held in the Panathenaic Stadium, which meant that there would only be one winner among competitors of all sizes. After a speech by the president of the organising committee, Crown Prince Constantine, his father officially opened the Games.  The city of Marathon itself served as the starting point for both marathon events during the 2004 Games. The Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin was the driving force behind the modern Olympic Games, which were first held in Greece in 1896. The 1896 Summer Olympics (Greek: Θερινοί Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες 1896, romanized: Therinoí Olympiakoí Agónes 1896), officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was the first international Olympic Games held in modern history. The athletes competed in 43 events covering athletics (track and field), cycling, swimming, gymnastics, weightlifting, wrestling, fencing, shooting, and tennis. Hungary sent the only national team; most of the foreign athletes were well-to-do college students or members of athletic clubs attracted by the novelty of the Olympics. The main venue was the Panathenaic Stadium, where athletics and wrestling took place; other venues included the Neo Phaliron Velodrome for cycling, and the Zappeion for fencing. The Olympic marathon was run on 10 April, 1896. The city of Marathon served as host to the marathon event and the individual road race events. The Panathenaic Stadium overflowed with the largest crowd ever to watch a sporting event. There are significant conflicts with regard to which nations competed. , Elliot got his revenge in the one hand lift event, which was held immediately after the two-handed one. It stands there to this day.. Die Wettkämpfe im Segeln wurden vereitelt, da man weder bei uns die besonderen Boote dafür besass, noch fremde Bewerber sich gemeldet hatten. 2016 marked the 120th anniversary of the first international Olympic games. All were men, as was true of all Olympic events that year. For Alfréd Hajós of Hungary, this meant he could only compete in two of the events, as they were held too close together, which made it impossible for him to adequately recuperate.  This venue was renovated in 2003 for use as a football venue for the 2004 Games. Boland and Traun decided to team up for the doubles event, in which they reached the final and defeated their Greek and Egyptian opponents after losing the first set. The swimming events were held in the cold currents of the Bay of Zea. Summer Olympic Games and Winter Olympic Games are held every four years. Three Germans added individual titles: Hermann Weingärtner won the horizontal bar event, Alfred Flatow won the parallel bars; and Carl Schuhmann, who also competed successfully in wrestling, won the vault. The stadium, originally built in 330 bce, had been excavated but not rebuilt for the 1870 Greek Olympics and lay in disrepair before the 1896 Olympics, but through the direction and financial aid of Georgios Averoff, a wealthy Egyptian Greek, it was restored with white marble. Only one road event was held, a race from Athens to Marathon and back (87 kilometres). The ancient track had an unusually elongated shape with such sharp turns that runners were forced to slow down considerably in order to stay in their lanes. Some scholars allege that during the Sorbonne congress Coubertin was led by tactical considerations, and used the amateur requirement only as a bait in order to realize his actual aim—namely the reintroduction of the Olympic Games—more quickly (Lennartz–Wassong ), 20. The most successful competitor was German wrestler and gymnast Carl Schuhmann, who won four events. To avoid embarrassing their hosts, the brothers decided that only one of them would compete in the next pistol event, the free pistol. Events > Olympics > Summer > Sports > Lists > 1896. ), Held at a range at Kallithea, the shooting competition consisted of five events—two using a rifle and three with the pistol. The athletes competed in 43 events covering athletics (track and field), cycling, swimming, gymnastics, weightlifting, wrestling, fencing, shooting, and tennis. Panathenaic Stadium was the main venue, hosting four of the nine sports contested. , Seven venues were used for the 1896 Summer Olympics. , On the morning of Sunday 12 April (or 3 April, according to the Julian calendar then used in Greece), King George the Great organised a banquet for officials and athletes (even though some competitions had not yet been held). The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, were held at Athens in Greece.. The rules used were similar to modern Greco-Roman wrestling, although there was no time limit, and not all leg holds were forbidden (in contrast to current rules). As a member of the Athens Lawn Tennis sub-committee, Manos had been trying, with the assistance of Boland, to recruit competitors for the Athens Games from among the sporting circles of Oxford University. St Louis, 1904 - These were the first modern Olympic Games, where gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for first, second and third prize respectively. A…, …Olympic Games were revived at Athens in 1896.….  The various contests were thus held under amateur regulations with the exception of fencing matches. In 1896 located in Athens, Greece, the first modern Summer Olympics took place between April 6-15th. The winner of the 12-hour competition was Adolf Schmal while Aristidis Konstantinidis won the road-race event. In 1870, during the Zappian Olympic Games, Philippos Ioannou, a classical scholar and professor, criticised the games, and attacked the ideal of amateurism.  Rowing and yachting were also scheduled, but were cancelled due to poor weather on the planned day of competition. Sumner Paine won that event, thereby becoming the first relative of an Olympic champion to become Olympic champion himself.  The following 14 are most likely the ones recognised by the IOC.  The rules and regulations were not uniform, so the Organising Committee had to choose among the codes of the various national athletic associations. , The swimming competition was held in the open sea because the organizers had refused to spend the money necessary for a specially constructed stadium. In the team event on the horizontal bar, the German team was unopposed. Professionalism vs amateurism was one of the dominant themes of the 19th century regarding athletics. Prince George came to his assistance; he picked up the weight and threw it a considerable distance with ease, to the delight of the crowd.. The Athens Games were the first occurrence of the modern Olympic Games. Jensen had been slightly injured during his last two-handed attempt, and was no match for Elliot, who won the competition easily. The first modern Olympic Games happened in 1898 in Athens, Greece, not like in OTL in 1896. Corrections? Some sources list 12, excluding Chile and Bulgaria; others list 13, including those two but excluding Italy. The total cost of the Games was 3,740,000 gold drachmas.  A study conducted by Chilean forensic police decided (by use of facial recognition), that Subercaseaux was the participant in a famous photo of 100 meters second series. This number of competitors is according to the International Olympic Committee. 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