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10 Interesting Facts about First Olympic Games

Hemant Singh

First Olympic Games: The first occurrence of the modern Olympic Games was the Athens Games. From 6 April to 15 April 1896, an athletic festival held in Athens. Around 280 athletes, attended the inaugural Games of the Modern Olympics. The athletes competed in 43 events. Every year on 23rd June World Olympic Day is celebrated to promote the idea of the Olympics.

Olympic Games are considered the biggest sporting event in the world. All the players who participate in these games come after beating many competitors. The hosting of the Olympic Games is itself the biggest achievement for the host nation. The USA has hosted the Olympic games 9 times which is the highest by any country followed by France which hosted 6 Olympic Games so far.

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Some facts about the first Olympic Games are as follows:

1. When & Where organized: At Athens (Greece) (6 April to 15 April 1896)

2. Official opening of the Games by: King George I

3. How many countries participated: 14

4. Who was the first champion: On 6 April 1896, the American James Connolly won the triple jump to become the first Olympic champion in more than 1,500 years. He also finished second in the high jump and third in the long jump.

5. Most successful player: Germany’s Carl Schuhmann was arguably the brightest star of Athens in 1896. Competing in gymnastics, athletics, weightlifting, and Greco-Roman wrestling, he won four gold medals, more than any other athlete at the inaugural modern Games.

6. Which country won the maximum number of Gold medals: USA (14 Gold medals)

7. How many players participated: 241

8. How many events held: 43

9. About medals: First place winners were awarded a silver medal, an olive branch, and a diploma. Those in second place were given a copper medal, a branch of laurel, and a diploma.

The obverse side of the medal has Zeus' face along with his hand holding a globe with the winged victory on it, with the caption in Greek "Olympia". The reverse side had the Acropolis site with the caption in Greek "International Olympic Games in Athens in 1896."

10. Official Reports: The official report of the Athens 1896 Olympic Games consisted of two parts: “The Olympic Games in Ancient Times”, published before the Games, and “The Olympic Games in 1896”, published after the Games. Pierre de Coubertin was the co-author.

The two volumes were published in four languages in the form of two bilingual editions, French-Greek and English-German. This official report was the subject of various new editions, the first one in 1941.

These were some interesting facts about the first Olympic Games we hope that these facts will be useful for many competitive exams and the more general public as well.


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