1896. Olympiad to the Continuity: Other species.

The first modern Olympic Games were held in Greece in 1896. They began with a scandal. The decision of the Paris Congress of 1894 on holding the games of the I Olympiad of our time in 1896 in Athens was …

Other species


The first modern Olympic Games were held in Greece in 1896. They began with a scandal. The decision of the Paris Congress of 1894 on the holding of games of the I Olympiad of the modernity in 1896 in Athens was approvingly perceived by the majority of the population of Greece.

But the City Hall of Athens and the Greek government was not able to make the full cost of playing games. The government did not agree to allocate additional funds, motivating their refusal by the fact that the Athenians say poorly in sports, that the city does not have the necessary athletes for competitions, and the financial situation of Greece does not allow representatives from many countries to the festival.

Many prominent state and politicians supported the government’s statement. For example, the influential politician Stephonon dramis wrote that Greece is not able to realize the magnificent idea of ​​Pierre de Cubertin and the holding of games is best postponed until 1900, as a component of the World Exhibition in Paris.

It came to the point that Baron Pierre de Cuberten, who belongs to the idea of ​​the Olympics, was forced to ask Hungary to accept games at home. Having received a categorical refusal, he tried to convince the Greek government that it was possible to do not so large expenses. Kronprints Konstantin agreed with the baron and appointed former Mayor of Athens Fillene as Secretary General of the Organizing Committee.

Konstantin also cast a cry with a request for helping all the Greeks of the planet and money began to enter the Olympic Fund. And not only from the inhabitants of Greece, but also from London, Marseille, Constantinople and other cities where rich Greek colonies existed. The ancient Olympic stadium was restored with the money received from Alexandria from George Averoff. In Athens, bicycle and shooting range were also built. Tennis courts were placed in the city center. Athletes provided pavilions with Hellenes and locker rooms for rowing competitions.

As a result, all places for the competition were prepared in one year. The problem was that the IOC could not recruit the participants in the Olympics-many countries simply refused to send athletes to Greece, considering this sporting event of the Franco-Greek venture.

Nevertheless, the games took place. On April 6, 1896, at the marble stadium, the king of Greece in the presence of 80 thousand spectators declared the games of the first Olympics open.

311 athletes from 12 countries – Australia, Austria -Hungary, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Denmark, the USA, France, Chile, Switzerland, Sweden, took part in the Olympic competitions.About 70% of the participants were representatives of Greece. The second largest team was Germany – 21 athletes, then France – 19, USA – 14. Only men took part in the competition. Russian athletes were actively preparing for the 1st Olympiad, but due to lack of funds, the Russian team was not sent to the Games. Only a few athletes from Odessa, most actively preparing for the Olympic Games, managed to leave for Greece, but they had to return due to lack of money, not reaching Athens. A resident of Kiev, Mykola Ritter, managed to arrive in the capital of the Olympic Games and applied for participation in wrestling and shooting sports, but then withdrew his application and did not take part in the competition.

The program of the Games included 9 sports – classical wrestling, cycling, gymnastics, athletics, swimming, bullet shooting, tennis, weightlifting and fencing, in which 43 sets of awards were played. Already at the Games of the first Olympiad, the organizers and the International Olympic Committee faced the problem of amateurism, which would accompany them until 1980.

The first Olympic champion of our time was the American athlete James Conolly, who won a gold medal in the triple jump with a result of 13 m 71 cm. The national hero of Greece, who received high honors, was the winner in the marathon race Spyridon Louis, who ran 40 km in 2 hours 58 minutes 50 seconds. L. Kuhn reports an interesting fact that, in addition to Olympic awards and fame, the winner was expected to receive the following prizes: a gold cup, established by the French academician Michel Breal, who insisted on the inclusion of marathon running in the Games program, a barrel of wine, a voucher for free food throughout the year, free tailoring dresses and the use of a hairdresser throughout his life, 10 centners of chocolate, 10 cows and 30 rams.

The Frenchman Paul Masson won three gold medals in the sprint race, as well as in the 2,000 and 10,000 m races on the track. However, the cycling competition was remembered for the gentlemanly behavior of another Frenchman, a participant in the 100-kilometer race, Leon Flament. The main rival of the athlete from France, the Greek Georgies Kollettis, had a bicycle breakdown and he was forced to stop in order to change the car. Léon Flaman also stopped and waited for his opponent. He became not only the winner of the Games, but also one of the most popular athletes.

There was no division into weight categories in wrestling competitions. All the more honorable was the victory of an athlete from Germany, Karl Schumann, who was the lightest of the participants. In addition to winning the wrestling, Schumann managed to win three more gold medals in gymnastics competitions – in the vault, as well as in the team championship in exercises on uneven bars and the crossbar.

In the weightlifting tournament, the Englishman Launceston Elliot distinguished himself with a result of 71 kg in an exercise with one hand, and the Dane Viggo Jensen with a result of 111.5 kg in an exercise with two hands.In shooting competitions, Greek athletes received three gold medals – in shooting from an army rifle, and two American athletes – in shooting from a revolver.

The winners were awarded on the closing day of the Games – April 15, 1896. Since the Games of the First Olympiad, a tradition has been established of performing the national anthem in honor of the winner and raising the national flag. The award ceremony took place on the closing day of the Games. The winner was crowned with a laurel wreath, he was awarded a silver medal made by the famous engraver Chaplain, and an olive branch cut in the Sacred Grove of Olympia and a diploma made by a Greek artist. Greek athletes won the most medals – 10 gold, 19 silver and 17 bronze, US Olympians won 19 medals – 11 gold, 7 silver, 1 bronze, Germany 14 medals – 7 gold, 5 silver, 2 bronze. Athletes from Bulgaria, Chile and Sweden were left without medals.

After the successful holding of the 1st Olympic Games, Greece hoped that the subsequent Olympics would be held in Athens, which would become modern Olympia. However, the International Olympic Committee decided to give the Games a truly international character and hold them alternately in different countries and on different continents. The International Olympic Committee did not object to major international competitions being held in Greece between the Games. Such competitions were planned to be held in 1898, and then in 1902. However, for organizational and financial reasons, they did not take place.

Venue – Athens, Greece
Date – April 6 – 15, 1896
Number of participating countries – 14
Number of sports – 9
Number of participants – 311 (men – 311, women – 0)