• The first modern Olympics were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Events were somewhat the same as now-- track and field, including the discus, high jump, pole vault, long jump, 110 meter hurdles, and shotput; shooting; lawn tennis; cycle races; gymnastics; wrestling; and swimming. Some events -- the Hop, Step and Jump, the standing broad jump-- aren't seen in track and field anymore. The first modern Olympics was also the birthplace of the Marathon, a footrace of of around twenty miles back then. The Marathon nowadays is 26 miles, 385 yards-- the exact distance run at the London Olympics.
  • The first Olympics were held in 776 BC in Athens, Greece.
  • The first recorded Ancient Olympic Games were in 776BC in the village of Olympia and they lasted for approximately 1000 years. They were played every four years, in honour of Zeus. On the first day of the Olympics sacrifices of grain, wine, and lambs were made to Zeus. There were fewer events, and only free men who spoke Greek could compete, instead of athletes from any country. The events included Boxing Equestrian events Chariot racing Riding Pankration Pentathlon Discus Javelin Jump Running Wrestling Running Wrestling Woodlands School – Kent UK
  • The stadion race (a foot race 600 feet long) was the only athletic event of the games for the first 13 Olympic festivals. In 776 BC, Koroibos, a cook from the nearby city of Elis, won the stadion race, and so he became the winner of the first Olympic Games.
  • 1) "There is little certain about the origins of the Ancient Olympics. Greeks gave several rather incompatible foundation legends; the most popular ones identify Heracles and his father Zeus as the progenitors of the Games. According to the legend, it is Heracles who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of holding them every four years. One popular story claims that after Heracles completed his twelve labors, he went on to build the Olympic stadium and surrounding buildings as an honor to Zeus. After the stadium was complete, he walked in a straight line for 200 steps and called this distance a "stadion" (Greek: στάδιον, Latin: stadium, "stage"), which later became a unit of distance. Another myth associates the first Games with the ancient Greek concept of Olympic truce (ἐκεχειρία, ekecheiria). The most widely held estimate for the inception of the Ancient Olympics is 776 BC. Inscriptions have been found of the winners of a footrace held every four years starting in 776 BC; tradition has it that Coroebus, a cook from the city of Elis, was the first Olympic champion. From then on, the Olympic Games quickly became important throughout ancient Greece. They reached their zenith in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. The Olympics were of fundamental religious importance, featuring sporting events alongside ritual sacrifices honoring both Zeus (whose famous statue by Phidias stood in his temple at Olympia) and Pelops, divine hero and mythical king of Olympia. Pelops was famous for his legendary chariot race with King Oenomaus of Pisatis. The winners of the events were admired and immortalized in poems and statues. The Games were held every four years, known as an Olympiad, and this period was used by Greeks as one of their units of time measurement. The Games were part of a cycle known as the Panhellenic Games, which included the Pythian Games, the Nemean Games, and the Isthmian Games. Gradually, though, the Games declined in importance as the Romans gained power and influence in Greece. Some scholars date the end of the Games to 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I declared that all pagan cults be closed; others believe that the Games ended in 426 AD, when his successor Theodosius II ordered the destruction of all Greek temples. After the demise of the Olympics, they were not held again for another 1,500 years." "The first significant attempt to emulate the ancient Olympic games was the nationwide L'Olympiade de la République, an Olympic festival held annually, from 1796 to 1798, in Revolutionary France. The competition included several disciplines from the ancient Greek Olympics. The 1796 Games also marked the introduction of the metric system into sport. In 1850 an Olympian Class began at Much Wenlock, in Shropshire, England. It was renamed the Wenlock Olympian Games in 1859, and continues today as the Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games. In 1866, a national Olympic Games in Great Britain was organized by Dr. William Penny Brookes at London's Crystal Palace. Greek interest in reviving the Olympic Games began after the country's independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829 and was first proposed by poet and newspaper editor Panagiotis Soutsos in his poem "Dialogue of the Dead", published in 1833. Evangelis Zappas, a wealthy Greek philanthropist, sponsored the revival of the ancient Olympic Games. The first modern international Olympic Games was held in 1859 in an Athens city square with participants from Greece and the Ottoman Empire. Later Zappas paid for the complete restoration of the ruins of the ancient Panathenian Stadium so that it could stage two further editions of the Games, one in 1870 and a second in 1875. French historian Baron Pierre de Coubertin was searching for a reason for the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871). He theorized that the French soldiers had not received proper physical education. In 1890 after attending the Olympian Games of the Wenlock Olympian Society, Coubertin decided that a large-scale revival of the Olympic Games was achievable. Until that time, attempts to create a modern version of the ancient Olympic Games had met with various amounts of success at the local (one, or at most two, participating nations) level. Coubertin built on the ideas of Brookes and Zappas with the aim to internationalize the Olympic Games. He presented these ideas during the first Olympic Congress of the newly created International Olympic Committee (IOC). This meeting was held from June 16 to June 23, 1894, at the Sorbonne University in Paris. On the last day of the Congress, it was decided that the first multinational Olympic Games would take place two years later in Athens. The IOC was fully responsible for the Games' organization, and, for that purpose, elected the Greek writer Demetrius Vikelas as its first president." "1896 Games There were fewer than 250 athletes at the first Olympic Games of the modern times. The Panathenian Stadium, restored for Zappas's Games of 1870 and 1875, was refurbished a second time in preparation for this inaugural edition. These Olympics featured nine sporting disciplines: athletics, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, tennis, weightlifting, and wrestling; rowing events were scheduled for competition but had to be cancelled due to bad weather conditions. The Greek officials and public were enthusiastic about the experience of hosting the inaugural Games. This feeling was shared by many of the athletes, who even demanded that Athens be the host of the Olympic Games on a permanent basis. The IOC had, however, envisaged these modern Olympics to be an itinerating and truly global event, and thus decided differently, planning for the second edition to take place in Paris." Source and further information:

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