1896 Summer Olympics

Article

August 11, 2022

The 1896 Summer Olympics were an international multi-sport competition held in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to April 15, 1896. It was the first Olympic Games of the modern era. Ancient Greece was the birthplace of the Olympic Games, so Athens was an appropriate choice for the beginning of the modern Olympic Games. Despite numerous obstacles, the organization of the 1896 Games was a great success. The Games were the largest international competition held up to that time. The games were held at the Panathinaiko Stadium, the first large stadium in the modern world, with the ability to accommodate the largest number of spectators who watched a sporting event. The highlight of the Games for the Greeks was the marathon victory of their compatriot Spiridon Lewis. The most successful was the German wrestler and gymnast Karl Schumann, who won four gold medals.

Selection of the host of the Summer Olympic Games

The founding congress of the International Olympic Committee, IOC, was held at the Paris Sorbonne University from June 16 to June 23, 1894, at the suggestion of Baron Pierre de Coubertin. After the founding of the IOC, it was decided that the First Modern Olympic Games would be held in their ancestral homeland, Greece, where they were born before 2762. It was also determined that it would be in Athens. That is why the honor of being elected as the first president of the IOC was given to the Greek Demetrios Vikelas.

Organization

The Greek people accepted the idea of ​​renewing the Olympic Games with enthusiasm. However, official Greece, which suffered from political strife, was very slow in solving the problems with the organization of the games, especially the financial ones, without which the successful organization of any major event is impossible. Funds were collected through voluntary contributions from citizens for the reconstruction of the old Athenian stadium and gifts from patrons. There were other problems as well. The Greeks initially proposed that only Greeks compete in the Games. Once that was resolved, the rest of the world should be interested in the Games so that as many competitors from as many countries as possible could participate in them. Most of those tasks were performed by Pierre de Coubertin himself. Sweden and Hungary were the first to accept the invitation to participate in the Olympic Games. France also prepared their national team, while Great Britain was less enthusiastic about the idea because it was preparing at the time