The Ancient Olympic Games

1108 Words Mar 7th, 2011 5 Pages
The Ancient Olympic Games is a series of competitions held between representatives of several city-states from Ancient Greece, which featured mainly athletic but also combat and chariot racing events.[1] The origin of these Olympics is shrouded in mystery and legend.[2] One of the most popular myths identifies Heracles and his father Zeus as the progenitors of the Games.[3][4][5] According to legend, it was Heracles who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of holding them every four years.[6] A legend persists that after Heracles completed his twelve labors, he built the Olympic stadium as an honor to Zeus. Following its completion, he walked in a straight line for 200 steps and called this distance a "stadion" …show more content…
The Panathenian stadium hosted the first in 1870 and a second in 1875.[20]
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.[21] Coubertin built on the ideas of Brookes and Zappas with the aim of internationally rotating the Olympic Games from country to country.[21] 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.[22] The IOC was fully responsible for the Games ' organization, and, for that purpose, elected the Greek writer Demetrius Vikelas as its first president.[23]
1896 Games
Main article: 1896 Summer Olympics

The opening ceremony in the Panathinaiko Stadium
The first Games hosted by the IOC were held in Athens in 1896. These Games brought 14 nations and 241 athletes who competed in 43 events.[24] The Greek officials and public were enthusiastic about the experience of hosting these 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 did not approve this request. The committee had envisaged these modern Olympics
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