The athletes competed... Panathenaic Stadium, home of the athletics (track-and-field) events of the Athens 1896 Olympic Games. Jensen had been slightly injured during his last two-handed attempt, and was no match for Elliot, who won the competition easily. Only five sports have been contested at every summer Olympic Games since 1896: Athletics , Cycling … The first Olympic Games was held in Athens, Greece, and had nine sports on the program.There were also some demonstration sports in 1896. The International Olympic … Coubertin suggested that the Games be held concurrently with the 1900 Universal Exposition of Paris. The marathon was the only track and field event won by a Greek during the first modern Olympic Games. Concerned that a six-year waiting period might lessen public interest, congress members opted instead to hold the inaugural Games in 1896. The latter won and advanced into the final, where he met Georgios Tsitas, who had previously defeated Stephanos Christopoulos. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. In the following years both Coubertin and Demetrius Vikelas would offer recollections of the selection process that contradicted the official minutes of the congress. 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. Other elements of current Olympic opening ceremonies were initiated later: the Olympic flame was first lit in 1928, the first athletes' oath was sworn at the 1920 Summer Olympics, and the first officials' oath was taken at the 1972 Olympic Games.[43]. After a speech by the president of the organising committee, Crown Prince Constantine, his father officially opened the Games with the words (in Greek):[43], "I declare the opening of the first international Olympic Games in Athens. Professionalism vs amateurism was one of the dominant themes of the 19th century regarding athletics. [18] In late 1894, the organising committee under Stephanos Skouloudis presented a report that the cost of the Games would be three times higher than originally estimated by Coubertin. 1896 was a special year for athletes. The Regatta could not take place because some special boats embarkation had not been provided for. [19], With the prospect of reviving the Olympic games very much in doubt, Coubertin and Vikelas commenced a campaign to keep the Olympic movement alive. After a speech by the president of the organising committee, Crown Prince Constantine, his father officially opened the Games. 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. The inaugural Games of the modern Olympics were attended by as many as 280 athletes, all male, coming from 12 countries. This number of competitors is according to the International Olympic Committee. 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. The 1896 Olympics were regarded as a great success. The opening ceremony was held in the Panathenaic Stadium on 6 April, during which most of the competing athletes were aligned on the infield, grouped by nation. Germany had sent an 11-man team, which won five of the eight events, including both team events. Only one road event was held, a race from Athens to Marathon and back (87 kilometres). Taking place soon after the conclusion of the Olympic Games, the Olympic-style games for athletes with a disability attracted 400 participants from 23 countries, who competed in eight sports. They concluded the Games could not be held, and offered their resignation. The best cyclist who managed to win 3races was Paul Masson from France. [4] After the Games, Coubertin and the IOC were petitioned by several prominent figures, including Greece's King George and some of the American competitors in Athens, to hold all the following Games in Athens. A crowd estimated at more than 60,000 attended the opening day of competition. With the relaxation of amateur-only rules, highly-paid athletes such as professional basketball players can now compete. It was here that, in October 1850, the local physician William Penny Brookes had founded the Wenlock Olympian Games, a festival of sports and recreations that included athletics and team sports, such as cricket, football and quoits. All subsequent Olympiads have been numbered even when no Games take place (as in 1916, during World War I, and in 1940 and 194… The United States won the most gold medals, 11, host nation Greece won the most medals overall, 46. 1900: Paris, France: Women competed for the first time: Paris hosted these games without a … Constantine later conferred more than that; he eagerly assumed the presidency of the 1896 organising committee. Consequently, the athletes had to provide their own lodging. Thereafter, a variety of musical offerings provided the backgrounds to the Opening Ceremonies until 1960, since which time the Samaras/Palamas composition has become the official Olympic Anthem (decision taken by the IOC Session in 1958). The modern Games owe a debt of gratitude to Athens 1896 (Mike Egerton/PA) Over-ambition was to befall the Games in subsequent editions. Swimming is among only five sports that have been part of every summer Olympic Games since 1896; the others are gymnastics, athletics, cycling, and fencing. Panathinaiko Stadium. Afterwards, the king awarded prizes to the winners. [20] Constantine's enthusiasm sparked a wave of contributions from the Greek public. It was the first international Olympic Games held in the Modern era.As Ancient Greece was the birthplace of the Olympic Games, Athens was an appropriate choice to stage the inaugural modern Games. A designated Olympic Village for the athletes did not appear until the 1932 Summer Olympics. Swimming was held in the Bay of Zea, fencing at the Zappeion, sport shooting at Kallithea, and tennis at the Athens Lawn Tennis Club. Swimming was held in the Bay of Zea, fencing at the Zappeion, sport shooting at Kallithea, and tennis at the Athens Lawn Tennis Club. A total of seven men from five nations competed. [33] The Zappeion served as the first home of the organizing committee (ATHOC) for the 2004 Games from 1998 to 1999, and served as the main communications center during those Games.[34][35]. [4], No world records were set, as few top international competitors had elected to compete. The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. There are significant conflicts with regard to which nations competed. This grassroots effort raised 330,000 drachmas. 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. The job of prime minister alternated between Charilaos Trikoupis and Theodoros Deligiannis frequently during the last years of the 19th century. Key Some of the athletes would take part in the Games because they happened to be in Athens at the time the Games were held, either on holiday or for work (e.g., some of the British competitors worked for the British embassy). Eventually, he was allowed to start from this "uncomfortable position". The top two places were won by the same two men in each event, though their order was reversed for the two events. [43] The following 14 are most likely the ones recognised by the IOC. The athletics events had the most international field of any of the sports. The lifters were eventually allowed to make further attempts, but neither lifter improved, and Jensen was declared the champion. [23] The various contests were thus held under amateur regulations with the exception of fencing matches. All the track-cycling games were held at the Neo-Phaliron-Velodrome while the 54miles long cycling event from Athens-to-Marathon and then back was the only road-event held in the 1896 Olympics. Two of the four swimming races were won by Alfréd Hajós of Hungary. [31] During the 2004 Games, Panathinaiko Stadium served as host for archery competitions and was the finish line for the athletic marathon event. Held on April 6-15, 1896 in Athens, Greece - birthplace of the ancient Olympiad - the inauguration of the modern games was a great milestone in international sports culture and cooperation. 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. Darkness forced the final match to be suspended after 40 minutes; it was continued the following day, when Schuhmann needed only fifteen minutes to finish the bout. [9] The 1896 Athens Games were funded by the legacies of Evangelis Zappas and his cousin Konstantinos Zappas[10][11][12] and by George Averoff[13] who had been specifically requested by the Greek government, through crown prince Constantine, to sponsor the second refurbishment of the Panathenaic Stadium. These professionals were considered gentlemen athletes, just as the amateurs.[25]. [5] Pierre de Coubertin, a French pedagogue and historian, adopted Dr William Penny Brookes' idea to establish a multi-national and multi-sport event—the ancient games only allowed male athletes of Greek origin to participate. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. 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. His contention was that they were a parody, because people from the working class had taken part in the games. Although tennis was already a major sport by the end of the 19th century, none of the top players turned up for the tournament in Athens. Marathon, long-distance footrace first held at the revival of the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. Shooting 1896 1900 1904 1908 1912 1920 1924 1928 1932 1936 1948 1952 1956 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 Total ... Olympic Games, sport, discipline, event, shooting, history, evolution, Olympic programme Created Date: [54] Unlike other sports (in which only amateurs were allowed to take part at the Olympics), professionals were authorised to compete in fencing, though in a separate event. Coubertin, however, was heavily opposed to this idea, as he envisioned international rotation as one of the cornerstones of the modern Olympics. Worldportsource.com profile of the Zea, Greece marina. They were held every four years until the 6th century AD. 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. Weightlifting champion Launceston Elliot faced gymnastics champion Carl Schuhmann. 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. teams made up of athletes from multiple nations. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. A curious incident occurred during the weightlifting event: a servant was ordered to remove the weights, which appeared to be a difficult task for him. 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. Mallon & Widlund calculate 245 athletes, while De Wael finds 246. Ten of the 14 participating nations earned medals, in addition to three medals won by mixed teams, i.e. [21] As a tribute to his generosity, a statue of Averoff was constructed and unveiled on 5 April 1896 outside the stadium. 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. All winners were presented with an olive branch and a silver medal. Paul Masson of France won three of the six cycling events. Over 65% of the competing athletes were Greek. Held every four years—with a few exceptions (during World War I and World War II)—these Games have brought camaraderie across borders and around the world. At the 1896 Summer Olympics, two weightlifting events were contested (men's one hand lift and two hand lift). [57], The sport of weightlifting was still young in 1896, and the rules differed from those in use today. Athens, 1896 - The first Modern Olympic Games were held in the place of birth of the Olympics. She was denied entry into the official race as the 1896 Olympics excluded women from competition.[51]. Nevertheless, he won the two events in which he swam, the 100 and 1200 meter freestyle. Although Greece had been favoured to win the discus and the shot put, the best Greek athletes finished just behind the American Robert Garrett in both events. The 1900 Paris Games … 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. ), Held at a range at Kallithea, the shooting competition consisted of five events—two using a rifle and three with the pistol. Spyridon Louis, a previously unrecognised water carrier, won the event to become the only Greek athletics champion and a national hero. Events > Olympics > Summer > Sports > Lists > 1896. Egypt is also sometimes included because of Dionysios Kasdaglis' participation. The first modern Games weren’t met with such enormous fanfare, however, given that they began on April 6, 1896. A regatta of sailing boats was on the program of the Games of the First Olympiad for 31 March 1896. Corrections? 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 [2004]), 20. Again the royal family attended the ceremony, which was opened by the national anthem of Greece and an ode composed in ancient Greek by George S. Robertson, a British athlete and scholar.[60]. Ticket sales added 200,000 drachmas. Athens 1896 Olympic Games, athletic festival held in Athens that took place April 6–15, 1896. At the first Olympic Games in 1896, there were nine sports contested. In 1896 located in Athens, Greece, the first modern Summer Olympics took place between April 6-15th. There are numerous reasons for the disparity: National teams hardly existed at the time, and most athletes represented themselves or their clubs. 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. Despite this, Thomas Burke, of the United States, won the 100-meter race in 12.0 seconds and the 400-meter race in 54.2 seconds. Apart from the two Greek contestants, all the competitors had previously been active in other sports. The Austrian fencer Adolf Schmal won the 12-hour race, which was completed by only two cyclists, while the road race event was won by Aristidis Konstantinidis. The rules of the International Cycling Association were used for the cycling competitions. The jury, the referees and the game director bore the same names as in antiquity (Ephor, Helanodic and Alitarc). Burke was the only one who used the "crouch start" (putting his knee on soil), confusing the jury. Most of the competing athletes were aligned on the infield, grouped by nation. History of the Olympic Games: First Modern Olympic Games, Athens, 1896 [46] 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. In addition, the curves of the track were very tight, making fast times in the running events virtually impossible. In their absence, Ioannis Phrangoudis won. Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. 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. [27], The Bay of Zea is a seaport and marina in the Athens area;[28] it was used as the swimming venue because the organizers of the Games wanted to avoid spending money on constructing a special purpose swimming venue. National Olympic Committees did not yet exist. [54] The other two events, the sabre and the masters foil, were won by Greek fencers. In Athens, 280 participants from 13 nations competed in 43 events, covering track-and-field, swimming, gymnastics, cycling, wrestling, weightlifting, fencing, shooting, and tennis. The water in the bay was cold, and the competitors suffered during their races. ", Afterwards, nine bands and 150 choir singers performed an Olympic Hymn, composed by Spyridon Samaras, with words by poet Kostis Palamas. The first event was held in a style now known as the "clean and jerk". Stadium. Panathenaic Stadium was the main venue, hosting four of the nine sports contested. Members of the royal family of Greece played an important role in the organization and management of the Games and were regular spectators over the 10 days of the Olympics. In 1870, during the Zappian Olympic Games, Philippos Ioannou, a classical scholar and professor, criticised the games, and attacked the ideal of amateurism. The Olympic games had the largest number of international participants of any sporting event held before. [61][62] Third place winners did not receive a prize. "La Presencia de Chile en los Juegos Olimpicos", "Participating Countries – Olympic Games Athens 1896", 1896 Olympic Games Programme - UK Parliament Living Heritage, "Pierre de Coubertin and the Wenlock Olympian Games", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1896_Summer_Olympics&oldid=1002211697, International sports competitions hosted by Greece, Articles with Greek-language sources (el), Short description is different from Wikidata, Instances of Lang-el using second unnamed parameter, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 23 January 2021, at 10:27. Gemeldet hatten were also scheduled, but does not list them these professionals were gentlemen! Got his revenge in the final event, thereby becoming the first time in official... > sports > Lists > 1896 different events a minute and a silver medal eagerly the. Been active in other sports nations participated with 241 athletes ( all males ) part! 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