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[[File:Athens35.jpg|thumb|200px|Poster of the 1896 Summer Olympics]]
You Suck go die
{{Olympics infobox|1896|Summer|
The '''1896 Summer Olympics''', officially known as the '''Games of the I Olympiad''', was a multi-sport event held in [[Athens]], [[Greece]], from April 6 to 15, 1896. It was the first international Olympic Games held in the Modern era. Because [[Ancient Greece]] was the birthplace of the [[Ancient Olympic Games|Olympic Games]], Athens was considered to be an appropriate choice to stage the inaugural modern Games. It was unanimously chosen as the host city during a congress organized by [[Pierre de Coubertin]], a French pedagogue and historian, in Paris, on June 23, 1894. The [[International Olympic Committee]] (IOC) was also instituted during this congress.
Despite many obstacles and setbacks, the 1896 Olympics were regarded as a great success. The Games had the largest international participation of any sporting event to that date. The [[Panathinaiko Stadium]], the only Olympic stadium used in the 1800s, overflowed with the largest crowd ever to watch a sporting event.<ref name="Y153">Young (1996), 153</ref> The highlight for the Greeks was the [[marathon (sport)|marathon]] victory by their compatriot [[Spyridon Louis]]. The most successful competitor was [[Germany|German]] [[Wrestling|wrestler]] and [[gymnastics|gymnast]] [[Carl Schuhmann]], who won four events.
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. However, the [[Paris 1900|1900 Summer Olympics]] were already planned for Paris and, except for the [[1906 Intercalated Games|Intercalated Games of 1906]], the Olympics did not return to Greece until the [[2004 Summer Olympics]], some 108 years later.
The stories surrounding the events and personalities of these Games were chronicled in the 1984 NBC miniseries, ''The First Olympics: Athens 1896'' starring David Ogden Stiers as [[William Milligan Sloane]] and Louis Jourdan as [[Pierre de Coubertin]].<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=IMDb: The First Olympics: Athens 1896 Business Details | |accessdate=July 26, 2012}}</ref>
==Reviving the Games==
During the 18th century, several small-scale sports festivals across Europe were named after the [[Ancient Olympic Games]]. The 1870 [[Zappas Olympics|Olympics]] at the Panathenaic stadium, which had been refurbished for the occasion, had an audience of 30,000 people.<ref>The Modern Olympics, A Struggle for Revival by David C. Young, Chapter 4</ref> Coubertin adopted Dr [[William Penny Brookes|William Penny Brooke's]] idea to establish a multi-national and [[multi-sport event]]—the ancient games were in a sense international, because various Greek city-states and colonies were represented, but only free male athletes of Greek origin were allowed to participate.<ref>According to Donald G. Kyle, systematic excavations of [[Olympia, Greece|Olympia]] had begun only in 1875, and Coubertin's perceptions were loosely based on ancient sources (Kyle [2007], 96).</ref> 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. 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, [[association football|football]] and quoits.<ref>Mullins, [ Pierre de Coubertin and the Wenlock Olympian Games]</ref> Coubertin also took inspiration from the earlier Greek games organized under the name of [[Zappas Olympics|Olympics]] by businessman and philanthropist [[Evangelis Zappas]] in 1859, 1870 and 1875.<ref>Matthews (2005), 66; Young (1996), 81</ref> The 1896 Athens Games was funded by the legacies of [[Evangelis Zappas]] and his cousin [[Konstantinos Zappas]]<ref>Young (1996), p.117</ref><ref>Memoire sure le conflit entre la Grece et la Roumanie concernant l'affaire Zappa&nbsp;– Athens 1893, by F. Martens</ref><ref>L'affaire Zappa&nbsp;– Paris 1894, by G. Streit</ref> and by [[George Averoff]]<ref name="Young">Young (1996), p.128</ref> who had been specifically requested by the Greek government, through crown prince Constantine, to sponsor the second refurbishment of the [[Panathinaiko Stadium]]. This the Greek government did despite the fact that the cost of refurbishing the stadium in marble had already been funded in full by Evangelis Zappas forty years earlier.<ref>Young (1996), p.14</ref>
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<br>of the Olympic Games. King George of Greece (June&nbsp;21, 1894)<ref>Young (1996), 102</ref>
On June 18, 1894, Coubertin organized a congress at the Sorbonne, in Paris, to present his plans to representatives of sports societies from 11 countries. Following his proposal's acceptance by the congress, a date for the first modern Olympic Games needed to be chosen. Coubertin suggested that the Games be held concurrently with the 1900 Universal Exposition of Paris. Concerned that a six-year waiting period might lessen public interest, congress members opted instead to hold the inaugural Games in 1896. With a date established, members of the congress turned their attention to the selection of a host city.
It remains a mystery how Athens was finally chosen to host the inaugural Games. In the following years both Coubertin and [[Demetrius Vikelas]] would offer recollections of the selection process that contradicted the official minutes of the congress. Most accounts hold that several congressmen first proposed London as the location, but Coubertin dissented. After a brief discussion with Vikelas, who represented Greece, Coubertin suggested Athens. Vikelas made the Athens proposal official on June 23, and since Greece had been the original home of the Olympics, the congress unanimously approved the decision. Vikelas was then elected the first president of the newly established [[International Olympic Committee]] (IOC).<ref>Young (1996), 100–105</ref>
[[Image:Panathinaiko Stadium panorama.jpg|thumb|300px|Panorama of the Panathinaiko Stadium]]
News that the Olympic Games would return to Greece was well received by the Greek public, media, and royal family. According to Coubertin, "the Crown Prince Constantine learned with great pleasure that the Games will be inaugurated in Athens." Coubertin went on to confirm that, "the King and the Crown Prince will confer their patronage on the holding of these games." Constantine later conferred more than that; he eagerly assumed the presidency of the 1896 organising committee.<ref>Young (1996), 108</ref>
However, the country had financial troubles and was in political turmoil. The job of prime minister alternated between [[Charilaos Trikoupis]] and [[Theodoros Deligiannis]] frequently during the last years of the 19th century. 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.<ref>Young (1996), 111–118</ref> 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. They concluded the Games could not be held, and offered their resignation. The total cost of the Games was 3,740,000 gold drachmas.<ref name=Zarnowski>Zarnowski (1992), 16–32</ref>
[[Image:Demetrius Vikelas.jpg|thumb|left|Demetrius Vikelas, the first president of the International Olympic Committee, was credited with the successful organisation of the 1896 Games.]]
With the prospect of reviving the Olympic games very much in doubt, Coubertin and Vikelas commenced a campaign to keep the Olympic movement alive. Their efforts culminated on January 7, 1895 when Vikelas announced that crown prince Constantine would assume the presidency of the organising committee.
His first responsibility was to raise the funds necessary to host the Games. He relied on the patriotism of the Greek people to motivate them to provide the required finances.<ref>Young (1996), 118. According to Young (2004), 153, "Vikelas and the other Greeks did most of the work. Coubertin did very little."</ref> Constantine's enthusiasm sparked a wave of contributions from the Greek public. This grassroots effort raised 330,000 drachmas. A special set of postage stamps were commissioned; the sale of which raised 400,000 drachmas. Ticket sales added an additional 200,000 drachmas. At the request of Constantine, businessman [[George Averoff]] agreed to pay for the restoration of the Panathinaiko Stadium. Averoff would donate 920,000 drachmas<ref name="Young" /> to this project.<ref>Darling (2004), 135</ref> As a tribute to his generosity, a statue of Averoff was constructed and unveiled on April 5, 1896 outside the stadium. It stands there to this day.<ref>[ George Averoff Dead], New York Times</ref>
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). A designated [[Olympic Village]] for the athletes did not appear until the [[Los Angeles 1932|1932 Summer Olympics]]. Consequently the athletes had to provide their own lodging.
[[Image:Stamp of Greece. 1896 Olympic Games. 2l.jpg|thumb|right|160px|Stamp from the first Olympic stamp set]]
The first regulation voted on by the new IOC in 1894 was to allow only amateur athletes to participate in the Olympic Games.<ref>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.</ref> The various contests were thus held under amateur regulations with the exception of fencing matches.<ref>Professionalism vs amateurism was one of the dominant themes of the 19th century regarding athletics. 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. In 1870, during the Zappian Olympic Games, Philippos Ioannou, a classical scholar and professor, criticised the games, and attacked the ideal of amateurism. His contention was that they were a parody, because people from the working class had taken part in the games. Ioannou suggested that only young people from the upper class should be accepted in the following Olympiad ([ Professionals and Amateurs], Foundation of the Hellenic World).</ref> The rules and regulations were not uniform, so the Organising Committee had to choose among the codes of the various national athletic associations. The jury, the referees and the game director bore the same names as in antiquity (''Ephor'', ''Helanodic'' and ''Alitarc''). [[Prince George of Greece|Prince George]] acted as final referee; according to Coubertin, "his presence gave weight and authority to the decisions of the ephors."<ref name="C46-47">Coubertin (1896), [ 46–47]</ref>
{{Main|Venues of the 1896 Summer Olympics}}
{| class="wikitable"
! Venue
! Sports
! Capacity
| [[Panathinaiko Stadium]] || [[Athletics]], [[Gymnastics]], [[Weightlifting]] and [[Wrestling]] || align="right"| 80,000
| [[Bay of Zea]] || [[Swimming]] ||
| [[Athens Lawn Tennis Club]] || [[Tennis]] ||
| [[Kallithea]] || [[Shooting]] ||
| [[Neo Phaliron Velodrome]] || [[Cycling]] ||
| [[Zappeion]] || [[Fencing]] ||
| style="background:#0c3;"|&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;|| Opening ceremony
| style="background:#39f;"|&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;|| Event competitions
| style="background:#fc0;"|&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;|| Event finals
| style="background:#e33;"|&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;●&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;|| Closing ceremony
! April ||width=60| 6 ||width=60| 7 ||width=60| 8 ||width=60| 9 ||width=60| 10 ||width=60| 11 ||width=60| 12 ||width=60| 13 ||width=60| 14 ||width=60| 15
| Ceremonies || style="background:#0c3; text-align:center;"| [[#Opening ceremony|●]] || || || || || || || || || style="background:#e33; text-align:center;"| [[#Closing ceremony|●]]
| [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics|Athletics]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metres|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's triple jump|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 800 metres|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's discus throw|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres|●]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 110 metres hurdles|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's long jump|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's shot put|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 1500 metres|●]] || || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 800 metres|●]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metres|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's high jump|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 110 metres hurdles|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's pole vault|●]] [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon|●]] || || || || ||
| [[Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics|Cycling]] || || || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 kilometres|●]] || || || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's sprint|●]] [[Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 10 kilometres|●]] [[Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's time trial|●]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's road race|●]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 12 hour race|●]] || ||
| [[Fencing at the 1896 Summer Olympics|Fencing]] || || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Fencing at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's foil|●]] [[Fencing at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's masters foil|●]] || || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Fencing at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's sabre|●]] || || || || || ||
| [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics|Gymnastics]] || || || || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's team parallel bars|●]] [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's team horizontal bar|●]] [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's vault|●]] [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's pommel horse|●]] [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's rings|●]] [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's horizontal bar|●]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's parallel bars|●]] [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's rope climbing|●]] || || || || ||
| [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics|Shooting]] || || || style="background:#39f; text-align:center;"| [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 200 metre military rifle|●]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 200 metre military rifle|●]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 25 metre military pistol|●]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 30 metre free pistol|●]] [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 25 metre rapid fire pistol|●]] [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 300 metre free rifle, three positions|●]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 300 metre free rifle, three positions|●]] || || ||
| [[Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics|Swimming]] || || || || || || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metre freestyle|●]] [[Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's sailors 100 metre freestyle|●]] [[Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 500 metre freestyle|●]] [[Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 1200 metre freestyle|●]] || || || ||
| [[Tennis at the 1896 Summer Olympics|Tennis]] || || || style="background:#39f; text-align:center;"| [[Tennis at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's singles|●]] || style="background:#39f; text-align:center;"| [[Tennis at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's singles|●]] || || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Tennis at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's singles|●]] [[Tennis at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's doubles|●]] || || || ||
| [[Weightlifting at the 1896 Summer Olympics|Weightlifting]] || || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Weightlifting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's two hand lift|●]] [[Weightlifting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's one hand lift|●]] || || || || || || || ||
| [[Wrestling at the 1896 Summer Olympics|Wrestling]] || || || || || style="background:#39f; text-align:center;"| [[Wrestling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's Greco-Roman|●]] || style="background:#fc0; text-align:center;"| [[Wrestling at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's Greco-Roman|●]] || || || ||
! April || 6 || 7 || 8 || 9 || 10 || 11 || 12 || 13 || 14 || 15
==Opening ceremony==
[[Image:1896 Olympic opening ceremony.jpg|thumb|The opening ceremony in the Panathinaiko Stadium]]
On April 6 (March 25 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.<ref>Coubertin (1896), [ 42]<br/>*Martin–Gynn (2000), 7–8</ref> The Panathinaiko Stadium was filled with an estimated 80,000 spectators, including King George I of Greece, his wife Olga, and their sons. Most of the competing athletes were aligned on the infield, grouped by nation. After a speech by the president of the organizing committee, Crown Prince Constantine, his father officially opened the Games:<ref name="IOCA">[ Athens 1896&nbsp;– Games of the I Olympiad], International Olympic Committee</ref>
<blockquote>"I declare the opening of the first international Olympic Games in Athens. Long live the Nation. Long live the Greek people."</blockquote>
Afterwards, nine bands and 150 choir singers performed an [[Olympic Hymn]], composed by [[Spyridon Samaras]], with words by poet [[Kostis Palamas]]. Thereafter, a variety of musical offerings provided the backgrounds to the Opening Ceremonies until [[Rome 1960|1960]], since which time the Samaras/Palamas composition has become the official Olympic Anthem (decision taken by the IOC Session in 1958). Other elements of current Olympic opening ceremonies were initiated later: the [[Olympic flame]] was first lit in [[Amsterdam 1928|1928]], the first athletes' oath was sworn at the [[Antwerp 1920|1920 Summer Olympics]], and the first officials' oath was taken at the [[Munich 1972|1972 Olympic Games]].<ref name="IOCA" />
At the 1894 Sorbonne congress, a large roster of sports were suggested for the program in Athens. The first official announcements regarding the sporting events to be held featured sports such as football and cricket, but these plans were never finalized, and these sports did not make the final list for the Games. [[Sport rowing|Rowing]] and [[yachting]] were scheduled, but had to be canceled due to poor weather on the planned day of competition.<ref name="C98-99">Coubertin–Philemon–Politis–Anninos (1897), 98–99, 108–109</ref>
{{Main|Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics}}
The athletics events had the most international field of any of the sports. The major highlight was the [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's marathon|marathon]], held for the first time in international competition. [[Spyridon Louis]], a previously unrecognized water carrier, won the event to become the only Greek athletics champion and a national hero. Although Greece had been favored to win the [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's discus throw|discus]] and the [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's shot put|shot put]], the best Greek athletes finished just behind the American [[Robert Garrett]] in both events.<ref name="Y153" />
No [[world record]]s were set, as few top international competitors had elected to compete. In addition, the curves of the track were very tight, making fast times in the running events virtually impossible. Despite this, [[Thomas Burke (athlete)|Thomas Burke]], of the United States, won the [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metres|100 meter]] race in 12.0 seconds and the [[Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 400 metres|400 meter]] race in 54.2 seconds. Burke was the only one who used the "[[crouch start]]" (putting his knee on soil), confusing the jury. Eventually, he was allowed to start from this "uncomfortable position".<ref>Sears (2001), 159</ref>
{{Main|Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics}}
[[Image:Masson flameng.jpg|thumb|left|Frenchmen Léon Flameng (left) and Paul Masson won four cycling events.]]
The rules of the [[International Cycling Association]] were used for the cycling competitions.<ref name="LWC">Coubertin (1896), [ 46–47]; Lennartz–Wassong (2004), 23</ref> The [[track cycling]] events were held at the newly built [[Neo Phaliron Velodrome]]. Only one road event was held, a race from Athens to Marathon and back (87 kilometers).
In the track events, the best cyclist was Frenchman [[Paul Masson (cyclist)|Paul Masson]], who won the one lap time trial, the sprint event, and the 10,000 meters. In the 100 kilometers event, Masson entered as a pacemaker for his compatriot [[Léon Flameng]]. Flameng won the event, after a fall, and after stopping to wait for his Greek opponent [[Georgios Kolettis]] to fix a mechanical problem. 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]].<ref name="LW">Lennartz-Wassong (2004), 23</ref>
{{Main|Fencing at the 1896 Summer Olympics}}
[[Image:Leonidas Pyrgos.jpg|thumb|Fencer Leonidas Pyrgos became the first Greek modern Olympic champion by winning the masters foil competition.]]
The fencing events were held in the [[Zappeion]], which, built with money [[Evangelis Zappas]] had given to revive the ancient Olympic Games, had never seen any athletic contests before.<ref name="Y148">Young (1996), 148</ref> Unlike other sports (in which only amateurs were allowed to take part at the Olympics), professionals were allowed to compete in fencing, though in a separate event. These professionals were considered gentlemen athletes, just as the amateurs.<ref name="C46-47" />
Four events were scheduled, but the [[épée]] event was cancelled for unknown reasons. The [[Fencing at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's foil|foil event]] was won by a Frenchman, [[Eugène-Henri Gravelotte]], who beat his countryman, [[Henri Callot]], in the final.<ref name="Y148" /> The other two events, the [[Fencing at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's sabre|sabre]] and the [[Fencing at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's masters foil|masters foil]], were won by Greek fencers. [[Leonidas Pyrgos]], who won the latter event, became the first Greek Olympic champion in the modern era.
{{Main|Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics}}
[[Image:Schuhmann flatow weingartner.jpg|thumb|left|The German individual gymnastics champions: Schuhmann, Flatow, and Weingärtner]]
The gymnastics competition was carried out on the infield of the Panathinaiko Stadium. Germany had sent an 11-man team, which won five of the eight events, including both team events. In the team event on the [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's team horizontal bar|horizontal bar]], the German team was unopposed. Three Germans added individual titles: [[Hermann Weingärtner]] won the [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's horizontal bar|horizontal bar event]], [[Alfred Flatow]] won the [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's parallel bars|parallel bars]]; and [[Carl Schuhmann]], who also competed successfully in wrestling, won the [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's vault|vault]]. [[Louis Zutter]], a Swiss gymnast, won the [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's pommel horse|pommel horse]], while Greeks [[Ioannis Mitropoulos]] and [[Nikolaos Andriakopoulos]] were victorious in the [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's rings|rings]] and [[Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's rope climbing|rope climbing]] events, respectively.<ref>Young (1996), 151</ref>
{{Main|Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics}}
Held at a range at Kallithea, the shooting competition consisted of five events—two using a rifle and three with the pistol. The first event, [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 200 metre military rifle|the military rifle]], was won by [[Pantelis Karasevdas]], the only competitor to hit the target with all of his shots. The second event, for [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics - Men's 25 metre military pistol|military pistols]], was dominated by two American brothers: [[John Paine (sharpshooter)|John]] and [[Sumner Paine]] became the first siblings to finish first and second in the same event. In order to avoid embarrassing their hosts, the brothers decided that only one of them would compete in the next pistol event, the [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 30 metre free pistol|free pistol]]. Sumner Paine won that event, thereby becoming the first relative of an Olympic champion to become Olympic champion himself.<ref name="CP76,83">Coubertin–Philemon–Politis–Anninos (1897), 76, 83–84</ref>
The Paine brothers did not compete in the [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 25 metre rapid fire pistol|25 meter pistol event]], as the event judges determined that their weapons were not of the required caliber. In their absence, [[Ioannis Phrangoudis]] won. The final event, the [[Shooting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 300 metre free rifle, three positions|free rifle]], began on the same day. However, the event could not be completed due to darkness and was finalized the next morning, when [[Georgios Orphanidis]] was crowned the champion.<ref name="CP76,83" />
{{Main|Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics}}
[[Image:Hajos.jpg|thumb|left|[[Alfréd Hajós]], the first Olympic champion in swimming, is one of only two Olympians to have won medals in both sport and art competitions.]]
The swimming competition was held in the open sea because the organizers had refused to spend the money necessary for a specially constructed stadium. Nearly 20,000 spectators lined the Bay of Zea off the Piraeus coast to watch the events. The water in the bay was cold, and the competitors suffered during their races. There were three open events ([[Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 100 metre freestyle|men's 100 metre freestyle]], [[Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 500 metre freestyle|men's 500 metre freestyle]], and [[Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's 1200 metre freestyle|men's 1200 metre freestyle]]), in addition to a [[Swimming at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's sailors 100 metre freestyle|special event open only to Greek sailors]], all of which were held on the same day (April 11).<ref name="LW"/>
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. Nevertheless, he won the two events in which he swam, the 100 and 1200 meter [[freestyle swimming|freestyle]]. Hajós later became one of only two Olympians to win a medal in both the athletic and [[art competitions at the Olympic Games|artistic competitions]], when he won a silver medal for architecture in 1924. The 500 meter freestyle was won by Austrian swimmer [[Paul Neumann (swimmer)|Paul Neumann]], who defeated his opponents by more than a minute and a half.
{{Main|Tennis at the 1896 Summer Olympics}}
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. The competition was held at the courts of the [[Athens Lawn Tennis Club]], and the infield of the velodrome used for the cycling events. [[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. 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. In the first round, Boland defeated [[Friedrich Traun]], a promising tennis player from [[Hamburg]], who had been eliminated in the 100 meter sprint competition. 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.<ref>Gillmeister (1995), 23–24</ref>
{{Main|Weightlifting at the 1896 Summer Olympics}}
[[Image:Launceston Elliot.jpg|thumb|Launceston Elliot, winner of the one-armed weightlifting event, was popular with the Greek audience, who found him very handsome.]]
The sport of weightlifting was still young in 1896, and the rules differed from those in use today. Competitions were held outdoors, in the infield of the [[Panathinaiko Stadium|main stadium]], and there were no weight limits. The first event was held in a style now known as the "[[clean and jerk]]". Two competitors stood out: Scotsman [[Launceston Elliot]] and [[Viggo Jensen]] of Denmark. Both of them lifted the same weight; but the jury, with Prince George as the chairman, ruled that Jensen had done so in a better style. The British delegation, unfamiliar with this tie-breaking rule, lodged a protest. The lifters were eventually allowed to make further attempts, but neither lifter improved, and Jensen was declared the champion.<ref name="C70-71">Coubertin–Philemon–Politis–Anninos (1897), 70–71</ref>
Elliot got his revenge in the [[Weightlifting at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's one hand lift|one hand lift]] event, which was held immediately after the two-handed one. Jensen had been slightly injured during his last two-handed attempt, and was no match for Elliot, who won the competition easily. The Greek audience was charmed by the Scottish victor, whom they considered very attractive. 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. 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.<ref name="C70-71" />
{{Main|Wrestling at the 1896 Summer Olympics}}
[[Image:Schuhmann lotta atene 1896.jpg|thumb|left|Carl Schuhmann (left) and Georgios Tsitas shake hands before the final match of the wrestling competition.]]
No weight classes existed for the wrestling competition, held in the Panathinaiko Stadium, which meant that there would only be one winner among competitors of all sizes. 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).
Apart from the two Greek contestants, all the competitors had previously been active in other sports. Weightlifting champion Launceston Elliot faced gymnastics champion Carl Schuhmann. The latter won and advanced into the final, where he met [[Georgios Tsitas]], who had previously defeated [[Stephanos Christopoulos]]. Darkness forced the final match to be suspended after 40 minutes; it was continued the following day, when Schuhmann needed only a quarter of an hour to finish the bout.<ref>Coubertin–Philemon–Politis–Anninos (1897), 93–94</ref>
==Closing ceremony==
On the morning of Sunday April 12, King George organized a banquet for officials and athletes (even though some competitions had not yet been held). During his speech, he made clear that, as far as he was concerned, the Olympics should be held in Athens permanently. The official closing ceremony was held the following Wednesday, after being postponed from Tuesday due to rain. 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.<ref name="C50">Coubertin (1896), [ 50]</ref>
Afterwards, the king awarded prizes to the winners. Unlike today, the first place winners received silver medals, an olive branch and a diploma. Athletes who placed second received copper medals, a branch of laurel and a diploma. Third place winners did not receive a medal. Some winners also received additional prizes, such as Spyridon Louis, who received a cup from [[Michel Bréal]], a friend of Coubertin, who had conceived the marathon event. Louis then led the medalists on a lap of honor around the stadium, while the Olympic Hymn was played again. 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.<ref name="C50" />
Like the Greek king, many others supported the idea of holding the next Games in Athens; most of the American competitors signed a letter to the Crown Prince expressing this wish. Coubertin, however, was heavily opposed to this idea, as he envisioned international rotation as one of the cornerstones of the modern Olympics. According to his wish, the next Games were held in Paris, although they would be somewhat overshadowed by the concurrently held Universal Exposition.<ref>Young (1996), 156</ref>
==Participating nations==
[[Image:1896 Olympic games countries.PNG|thumb|240px|Participating countries]]
The concept of national teams was not a major part of the Olympic movement until the [[1906 Intercalated Games|Intercalated Games]] 10 years later, though many sources list the nationality of competitors in 1896 and give medal counts. There are significant conflicts with regard to which nations competed. The International Olympic Committee gives a figure of 14, but does not list them.<ref name="IOCA" /> The following 14 are most likely the ones recognized by the IOC. Some sources list 12, excluding Chile and Bulgaria; others list 13, including those two but excluding Italy. Egypt is also sometimes included because of [[Dionysios Kasdaglis]]' participation. Belgium and Russia had entered the names of competitors, but withdrew.
{| class="wikitable collapsible" style="width:100%;"
! Participating Nations
# <!--{{flagIOC|AUS|1896 Summer}}&nbsp;-->[[Australia]] – Australia was not an independent nation until 1901, but the results of [[Edwin Flack]] are typically given with him listed as Australian. (1)
# <!--{{flagIOC|AUT|1896 Summer}}&nbsp;-->[[Austria]] – Austria was part of Austria–Hungary at the time, though the results of Austrian athletes are typically reported separately. (3)
# <!--{{flagIOC|BUL|1896 Summer}}&nbsp;-->[[Bulgaria]] – The Bulgarian Olympic Committee claims that gymnast [[Charles Champaud]] was competing as a Bulgarian.<ref name=Bulgaria>[ Athens 1896], Bulgarian Olympic Committee</ref> Champaud was a Swiss national living in Bulgaria. Mallon and de Wael both list Champaud as Swiss.<ref name=Bulgaria2>De Wael, KONRAD [ Gymnastics 1896]</ref> (1)
# <!--{{flagIOC|CHI|1896 Summer}}&nbsp;-->[[Chile]] – The Chilean Olympic Committee claims to have had one athlete, [[Luis Subercaseaux]], compete in the 100, 400, and 800 meter races in the athletics programme.<ref name=Chile>Guttmann (1994), 128; [ La Presencia de Chile en los Juegos Olimpicos], Olympic Committee of Chile; McGehee (2000), 107</ref><ref>{{cite web |url= |title=1896 Athens Olympics |accessdate=February 21, 2011 | |date=s/f |cite=Fourteen nations were represented&nbsp;— Australia, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, USA, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland }}</ref><ref>{{cite book |last=Mallon |first=Bill, and Ture Widlund |title=The 1896 Olympic Games. Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary |url= |accessdate=February 21, 2011 |year=1988 |editor= |publisher=McFarland |place=Jefferson |isbn=0-7864-0379-9 |chapter= |page=39 |cite=Across the field, in answer to the Herald's trumpet, come two Hungarians, a Chilian, a Frenchman, a German, an Englishman and an American, to run the 100-meters race }}</ref><ref>{{cite web |url= |title=Participating Countries&nbsp;— Olympic Games Athens 1896 |accessdate=May 22, 2011 |author=Olympic Games Museum |year=2011 | |cite= }}</ref> No further details are given, and no mention is made of Subercaseaux in de Wael, or the Official Report. (1)
# <!--{{flagIOC|DEN|1896 Summer}}-->[[Denmark]] (3)
# <!--{{flagIOC|FRA|1896 Summer}}-->[[France]] (13)
# <!--{{flagIOC|GER|1896 Summer}}-->[[Germany]] (19)
# <!--{{flagIOC|GBR|1896 Summer}}&nbsp;-->[[Great Britain]] – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland has historically maintained separate athletic organisations for each of its constituent countries. The major exception to this has been the Olympic Games, in which the country is considered as a single entity. However, it has conventionally used the name "Great Britain" at the Olympics rather than the more common shortening of the name to "the United Kingdom". (10)
# <!--{{flagIOC|GRE|1896 Summer}}&nbsp;-->[[Greece]] – Greek results typically include the results of competitors from Cyprus, [[Smyrna]] and [[Egypt]].<ref>Gillmeister (1998), 364</ref> Some sources give Cypriot results separately, though most count [[Anastasios Andreou]], a Greek-Cypriot and the only athlete from Cyprus, as Greek (Cyprus was a protectorate of the United Kingdom at the time). Kasdaglis, an athlete of Greek origins living in Alexandria, Egypt, is listed by the IOC as Greek during his competition in the singles tennis competition but Kasdaglis and his [[Tennis at the 1896 Summer Olympics – Men's doubles|doubles tennis]] teammate, Greek athlete [[Demetrios Petrokokkinos]], are listed as a mixed team.<ref name="medal count">[ Athens 1896–Medal Table], International Olympic Committee</ref> (169)
# <!--{{flagIOC|HUN|1896 Summer}}&nbsp;-->[[Hungary]] – Hungary is usually listed separately from Austria, despite the two being formally joined as Austria–Hungary at the time.(7)
# <!--{{flagIOC|ITA|1896 Summer}}&nbsp;-->[[Italy]] – The most prominent Italian involved with the games, [[Carlo Airoldi]], was deemed a professional and excluded from competition. However, the shooter [[Giuseppe Rivabella]] was also Italian and did compete.<ref>De Wael, [ Shooting 1896]</ref><ref name=Rivabella>{{cite web |url= |title=Giuseppe Rivabella |accessdate=February 24, 2009 |work=Sports-Reference}}</ref> (1)
# <!--{{flagIOC|SWE|1896 Summer}}-->[[Sweden]] (1)
# <!--{{flagIOC|SUI|1896 Summer}}-->[[Switzerland]] (3)
# <!--{{flagIOC|USA|1896 Summer}}-->[[United States]] (14)
==Medal count==
{{details|1896 Summer Olympics medal table}}
[[Image:1896 Olympic medal.jpg|thumb|A silver medal was awarded to the winner of each event during the 1896 Summer Olympics.]]
Ten of the 14 participating nations earned medals, in addition to three medals won by [[Mixed team at the Olympics|mixed team]]s, i.e. teams made up of athletes from multiple nations. The United States won the most gold medals (11), while host nation Greece won the most medals overall (46) as well as the most silver (17) and bronze (19) medals, finishing with one fewer gold medal than the United States.<ref name="medal count" />
During these inaugural Olympics, winners were given a silver medal, an olive branch, and a diploma, while runners-up received a copper medal, laurel branch, and diploma.<ref name="official report">Coubertin–Philemon–Politis–Anninos (1897), 232–234</ref><ref>IOC Olympic Museum exhibition panel, 2010</ref> The IOC has retroactively assigned gold, silver and bronze medals to the three best placed athletes in each event to comport with more recent traditions.<ref name="medal count"/>
|title=Medals of the Games
|File:Olympic First Place medal Athens 1896.jpg|Silver (first place) medal with the face of Zeus, his hand holding a globe surmounted by winged Victory.
|File:Olympic Second Place medal Athens 1896.jpg|A copper medal was given those in second place. The reverse features the Acropolis and, in Greek, "International Olympic Games in Athens in 1896".
|File:Olympic First Place medal Athens 1896 (2).jpg|Obverse of the silver (first place) medal at a different angle, showing further detail
==Female competitors==
Women were not allowed to compete at the 1896 Summer Olympics. However, one woman, [[Stamata Revithi]], ran the marathon course on April 11, the day after the men had run the official race. Although she was not allowed to enter the stadium at the end of her race, Revithi finished the marathon in about five hours and 30 minutes, and found witnesses to sign their names and verify the starting and finishing times. Revithi intended to present this documentation to the [[Hellenic Olympic Committee]], hoping that they would recognize her achievement. Neither her reports nor documents from the Hellenic Olympic Committee have been discovered to provide corroboration.<ref name="Rev">Martin–Gynn (2000), 22</ref>
*{{IOC games|games=1896 Summer Olympics }}
*{{IOC medals|games=1896 Summer Olympics }}
* {{cite web|url= |title=Almanac of the 18 June |accessdate=June 16, 2008 |work=Almanac of the Day |publisher=[[International Olympic Committee]]}}
*{{cite web|title=Athens 1896|publisher=[[Bulgarian Olympic Committee]]|url=|accessdate=July 7, 2008}}
*{{Cite journal|first=Pierre De |last=Coubertin |coauthors=Hambidge, Jay|authorlink= Pierre De Coubertin|title=The Olympic Games of 1896 |url=|publisher=The Century Magazine |month=November | year=1896 |volume=LIII|issue=1|accessdate=June 28, 2008}}
*{{Cite book|last=Coubertin |first=Pierre De |authorlink=Pierre De Coubertin|coauthors=Timoleon J. Philemon, N.G. Politis and Charalambos Anninos |title=The Olympic Games: BC 776&nbsp;– AD 1896 |work= The Olympic Games in 1896&nbsp;– Second Part |publisher=Charles Beck |format=PDF|location=Athens |year=1897 |url= | accessdate=July 25, 2008}}
*{{Cite book|title=Architecture of Greece|last=Darling|first=Janina K.|year=2004 |publisher=Greenwood Publishing Group|isbn=0-313-32152-3|chapter=Panathenaic Stadium, Athens|url=,+Averoff,+Constantine |oclc=54500822}}
*{{cite web|last=De Wael|first=Herman|title=Herman's Top Athina 1896 Olympians|url=|accessdate=July 3, 2008}}
*{{Cite news|title=George Averoff Dead |url= |work=The New York Times |date=August 4, 1899|accessdate=July 31, 2008 | format=PDF}}
*{{Cite book|title=Tennis: a Cultural History |format=PDF|last=Gillmeister|first=Heiner|year=1998 |publisher=Continuum International Publishing Group|isbn=0-7185-0195-0|url=,+Egypt,++Kasdaglis |oclc=67496016}}
*{{Cite journal| last=Gillmeister|first=Heiner| year = 1995 | month = Winter | title = Olympic Tennis: Some Afterthoughts | journal = Citius, Altius, Fortius | volume = 3 | issue = 1 | format=PDF|pages = 23–25 | url = | accessdate=July 25, 2008}}
*{{Cite book|title=Games and Empires: Modern Sports and Cultural Imperialism|last=Guttmann|first=Allen|year=1994 |publisher=Columbia University Press|isbn=0-231-10042-6|url=,+1896,+games |oclc=231638134}}
*{{Cite book|title=Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World: Early Sport and Spectacle |last=Kyle|first=Donald G.|year=2007 |publisher=[[Blackwell Publishing]]|isbn=0-631-22970-1|chapter=In Search of the Ancient Olympics|url=,+athletes,+Greek,+only |oclc=191858172}}
*{{cite web| url = | title = La Presencia de Chile en los Juegos Olimpicos | accessdate=July 3, 2008| publisher = Olympic Committee of Chile | language = Spanish| archiveurl =| archivedate = July 2, 2008}}
*{{Cite book|title=Encyclopedia of the Modern Olympic Movement|editor=John E. Findling, Kimberly D. Pelle|last=Lennartz|first=Karl|coauthors=Wassong, Stephen|year=2004|publisher=Greenwood Publishing Group|chapter=Athens 1896|isbn=0-313-32278-3|url=,+cycling |oclc=52418065}}
*{{Cite book|title=Running through the Ages|last=Martin|first=David E.|coauthors=Gynn, Roger W. H. |year=2000|publisher=Human Kinetics|isbn=0-88011-969-1|chapter=The Olympic Marathon|url= |oclc=42823784}}
*{{Cite book|title=America's First Olympics: The St. Louis Games Of 1904 |last=Matthews|first=George R.|year=2005|publisher=University of Missouri Press|isbn=0-8262-1588-2|chapter=The Ghost of Plato|url=,+Brookes,+Coubertin |oclc=58468164}}
*{{Cite book|last=McGehee |first=Richard V.|format=PDF|title=Strange Pilgrimages: Exile, Travel, and National Identity in Latin America |publisher=Rowman & Littlefield|year=2000 |url=|chapter=The Impact of Imported Sports on the Popular Culture of Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Mexico and Central America|editor=Ingrid Elizabeth Fey, Karen Racine|isbn=0-8420-2694-0|accessdate=July 25, 2008 |oclc=237382448}}
*{{cite web| last=Mullins | first=Samuel P. |url = | title = Pierre de Coubertin and the Wenlock Olympian Games| accessdate=July 11, 2008| publisher = University of Leeds | work =Proceedings of the International Olympic Academy–Selected 1980s Proceedings}}
* {{cite web|url=|title=Professionals and Amateurs|accessdate=July 18, 2008 |work=From Ancient Olympia to Athens of 1896|publisher=Foundation of the Hellenic World}}
*{{Cite book|title=Running through the Ages|last=Sears |first=Edward S.|year=2001 |publisher=McFarland|isbn=0-7864-0971-1|chapter=The Revival of the Olympic Games|url=,++crouch+start |oclc=46650949}}
*{{Cite book|title=A Brief History of the Olympic Games|last=Young |first=David C. |year=2004 |location= Oxford |publisher=Blackwell |isbn=1-4051-1130-5 |url= |chapter=The Modern Olympic Games |oclc=54111254}}
*{{Cite book|title=The Modern Olympics: A Struggle for Revival |last=Young |first=David C. |year=1996 |location= Baltimore |publisher=Johns Hopkins University Press|isbn=0-8018-7207-3}}
*{{Cite journal| last = Zarnowski | format=PDF|first = C. Frank | year = 1992 | month = Summer | title = A Look at Olympic Costs | journal = Citius, Altius, Fortius | volume = 1 | issue = 1 | pages = 16–32 | url = | accessdate =March 24, 2007}}
==Further reading==
* {{Cite book| author=Greenberg, Stan | title=The Guinness Book of Olympic Facts and Feats | publisher=Guinness | location=Enfield | year=1996 | isbn=0-85112-639-1 | oclc=35921786}}
* {{Cite book| author=Kluge, Volker | title=Olympische Sommerspiele: die Chronik I | publisher=Sportverlag | location=Berlin | year=1997 | isbn=3-328-00715-6 | oclc=38258227}}
* {{Cite book| author=Lennartz, Karl (ed.) | title=Die olympischen Spiele 1896 in Athen: Erläuterungen zum Neudruck des Offiziellen Berichtes | publisher=Agon | location=Kassel | year=1996 | id=}}
* {{Cite book| author=MacAloon, John J | title=This Great Symbol: Pierre de Coubertin and the Origins of the Modern Olympic Games | publisher=The University of Chicago Press | location=Chicago | year=1982 | id=}}
* {{Cite book| author=Mallon, Bill; & Widlund, Ture | title=The 1896 Olympic Games. Results for All Competitors in All Events, with Commentary |url=| format=PDF | location=Jefferson | publisher=McFarland | year=1998 | isbn=0-7864-0379-9 | accessdate=May 26, 2008 | oclc=37213664}}
* {{Cite book| author=Smith, Michael Llewellyn | title= Olympics in Athens 1896. The Invention of the Modern Olympic Games | publisher=Profile Books | location=London | year = 2004 | isbn=1-86197-342-X | oclc=186174794}}
* {{Cite book| author=Wallechinsky, David | title=The Complete Book of the Summer Olympics | publisher=Overlook Press | location=Woodstock | year=2000 | isbn=1-58567-033-2 | oclc=43561597}}
* {{Cite book| author=Randall, David | title=1896 The first Modern Olympics | url=| format=ebook | publisher=Blacktoad Publishing | location=London | year=2011 | isbn=978-0-9570591-0-8}}
==External links==
{{commons category|1896 Summer Olympics}}
*{{IOC games|games=1896 Summer Olympics }}
==See Also==
*[[Athens 1896/Logos|Logos]] - A collection of logos featuring this event.
*[[Athens 1896/Torch|Torch]] - Information about this Olympics' torch.
{{Succession box| title=Olympics<br>Summer Olympics| before= ''none<br>(first modern games)''| years=1896| after=[[Paris 1900]]}}
[[Category:Summer Olympic Games]]
[[Category:Summer Olympic Games]]
[[Category:Olympic Games]]
[[Category:Olympic Games]]

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