Beginning of a big journey

Beginning of a big journey

Flashback 1896

Beginning of a big journey

Baron Pierre de Coubertin's dream finally took wings on April 6, 1896 when King George I of Greece opened the first modern Olympic Games in Athens.

A total of 245 athletes from 14 countries took part in the first Olympic Games. American James Connolly was the first winner in the modern Games, triumphing in the triple jump.

Winners in the first Olympic Games received a silver medal, a crown of olive branches and a diploma. Runners-up received a bronze medal, a laurel crown and a diploma.

The practice of awarding gold, silver and bronze medals started in 1904.

Women did not take part in the first modern Olympics but made their entry in the second Games in Paris.

Greece had reasons to celebrate when Spiridon Louis won the inaugural marathon. The marathon was created to commemorate the feat of Pheidippides, who ran from Marathon to Athens to convey the message of Greece's win over Persians in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC.

One of the early heroes of the modern Olympics was Germany's Carl Schuhmann. He took part in athletics, gymnastics, weightlifting and Greco-Roman wrestling and won four gold medals.

In athletics, he competed in long jump, triple jump and shot put but didn't win any medals.

His medals came in gymnastics (three gold) and Greco-Roman wrestling.

Did you know?

Americans John and Sumner Paine are the first brothers to finish and second in an event at the Olympics, competing in the military revolver shooting event at Athens 1896.

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