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1896 Athens

1896 Athens

Games of the I Olympiad

The Games were revived in 1896 due to the efforts of Baron Pierre de Coubertin. In 1894, he invited the world’s sport organizations to share his dream of reviving the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee was formed with Demetrius Vikélas of Greece as its first President.

The first Games of the modern-era were held from April 6 to April 15, attended by 14 countries, 245 athletes (none of which were women) and consisted of 43 events. On April 6, American James Connolly won the triple jump to become the first Olympic champion in more than 1,500 years. The first place winners were given a silver medal and a crown of olive branches. Second place finishers were given a bronze medal and a crown of laurel.

The people of Athens greeted the Games with great enthusiasm. Their support was rewarded when a Greek shepherd, Spiridon Louis, won the most popular event, the marathon.

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