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The first five Olympic games editions

Olympic games: The greatest sport event in history

 

What are the first five Olympic games editions?


This story begins in 776 BC in Olympia, Greece, where the  Ancient Olympic Games were held. The prize for the athletes consists of a crown of olive trees. Eleven centuries later, the Roman Emperor Theodysius I suspend them as a pagan spectacle.


The Olympic Games of the modern era were conceived by Baron Pierre de Coubertin and were conceived in 1894 at the Sorbonne University in Paris. There, the Frenchman called for the universalization of sport under the motto: "citius, altius, fortius" ("faster, higher, stronger").


On June 24, 1894, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is created with the assistance of 15 countries. The Greek Demetrios Bikelas was appointed as president and Coubertin as secretary, and the organization of the Athens Games for 1896 was determined.


In this first edition, 14 countries and 241 athletes (exclusively men) competed in 43 events in 10 disciplines. The American James Connoly, in the triple jump, is the first Olympic champion in more than 1,500 years. The swimming competitions are held in the open sea.


The prizes awarded are a silver medal, a laurel wreath, and a diploma. The great figure of the first Olympic games is the Greek marathon runner Spiridon Louis.


The shepherd wins the race created at the behest of the historian Michel Breal and then the distance covered (40 kilometers) is the distance that the soldier Philippides had run in 490 BC from Mount Marathon to Athens.

This gives back the illusion to the Greeks, who had not achieved good results until that test. In the end, only Louis becomes a national hero. The event is almost completely ignored by the press.


What came next?


Afterwards, some other editions took place in Europe. We share with you the list of the five fist editions of Olympic games in History.

  1.  
  2. PARIS 1900: With the questioning of the Greeks, who considered that the Olympic games belonged to them and should only be held on their territory (an Athenian newspaper asserted that "Mr. Coubertin is a thief to want the Games to be held in non-Greek cities.
  3.  
  4. He is thus robbing us of one of our most precious jewels: the Olympic games), women made their Olympic debut as 19 women participated in Paris. The first of them to be crowned champion is the English tennis player Charlotte Cooper.
  5.  
  6. The Olympic Games are strange because of the diversity of sports and their five-month duration (from May 24 to October 28), since they are part of the Universal Exposition of the French capital. Sports such as soccer, gymnastics and rowing, among others, are incorporated.
  7.  
  8. Some athletes receive their medals years after the competitions. Ray Ewry (he had suffered paralysis as a child and rehabilitation exercises gave him great strength in his legs) wins three gold medals on the same day in jumping to become one of the stars of the Olympic Games along with American Alvin Kraenzlein, who wins four titles in three days in 60 meters, 110 and 200m hurdles and long jump, setting a new Olympic record.
  9.  
  10. The number of participants increases meaningfully: 1,225 athletes (1,206 men) from 24 countries competing for 95 medals in 16 disciplines. Then, the swimming competitions are held in the Seine River.
  11.  
  12. After the event, Coubertin remarked that "it was a miracle that the Olympic movement survived these Games". The Argentine fencer Francisco Camet, who was living in Europe, participates, although he does so unofficially.
  13.  
  14. SAINT LOUIS 1904: These were the first Games outside Europe. Chicago had been the city designated by the IOC to organize them, but its attempt to delay the celebration for a year led to Saint Louis being chosen to host them.
  15.  
  16. The Olympic Games turned out to be disastrous because of disorganization, as in Paris. The duration is excessive (July 1st to November 23rd). Of the 94 medal events, only 42 include non-US athletes. Boxing, basketball and wrestling are incorporated as Olympic disciplines.
  17.  
  18. African athletes (two in the marathon) make their Olympic debut. In addition, for the first time, gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded for the first three places. There are 689 athletes (681 men and eight women, who do not take part in the official events) from 13 countries.
  19.  
  20. Highlights include Ray Ewry; George Eyser, who wins six gold medals in gymnastics even though his left leg is made of wood; and Anton Helda, who wins five gold medals and one silver medal in gymnastics. Fred Lorz is disqualified in the marathon for running part of the course in an automobile.
  21.  
  22. As a result, Thomas Hicks becomes the winner. At the same time, the Anthropological Games are held between different racial groups, which distorts the Olympic spirit.
  23.  
  24. LONDON 1908: Once again, the venue was changed on the fly. Rome had been the chosen venue, but the Games were finally held in London due to the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano two years earlier.
  25.  
  26. Unlike the last two Olympic Games, the organization was good thanks to the support of the monarchy and a large budget that made it possible to build a great infrastructure.
  27.  
  28. For the second time, the presence of an athlete from our country is registered, although Argentina does not officially participate in the Olympic Games. A total of 2,035 athletes from 22 countries (1,999 men and 36 women) participated in 110 events.
  29.  
  30. Figure skating was the first winter sport to be practiced in a summer Games. Archers William and Charlotte Dod become the first siblings to win medals. Two new sports join the program: yachting and field field hockey. Once again Ray Ewry is one of the stars. He won in the high jump and long jump and becomes the first athlete in the history of the Games to win eight gold medals in individual competitions.
  31.  
  32. Another relevant event had taken place in the marathon, the distance of which was changed twice. This is a fascinating story and has to do with two real whims.
  33.  
  34. The course was 40 kilometers but, to satisfy a request from Edward VII, the race was first extended two kilometers to the walls of Windsor Castle, since the king wanted his daughter Mary, who had been a mother a couple of days earlier and had to rest in her room, to watch the athletes' departure from her window.
  35.  
  36. STOCKHOLM 1912: These are the first large-scale and excellently organized Games. Disciplines such as cycling and modern pentathlon are added, but because Swedish law forbids them, boxing does not participate.
  37.  
  38. Peculiarly, one of the Greco-Roman wrestling semi-finals between Russia's Martin Kein and Finland's Alfred Asikainen is longer than usual and lasts 11 hours. The great figure of these Games is the American of Indian origin (of the Sioux tribe) Jim Thorpe, who wins the pentathlon and the decathlon.
  39.  
  40. A year later he was deprived of his medals for charging a sum of money (15 dollars a week) for playing baseball. Johan Petteri Kölehmainen, the "Flying Finn" had an outstanding participation, winning three gold medals.
  41.  
  42. Another curiosity is that at the same time a cultural Olympiad is held in which Pierre de Coubertin wins the gold medal in literature for his "Ode to Sport". A total of 2,547 athletes (2,490 men and 57 women) from 28 countries compete in 102 events. The athletes begin with the custom of climbing the podium to celebrate their victories and listen to the anthems of their nations. The tragic note is the death of Portuguese Francisco Lazaro during the Olympic games.
  43.  
  44. AMBER 1920: Once again the Olympic games change their original venue. They were to be held in Berlin, but because of the First World War (1914-1919), Antwerp wins the venue as a reward for the suffering it endured in the conflict.
  45.  
  46. Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey were not invited: they had lost the war. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union was excluded for political reasons.
  47.  
  48. The 23-year-old Finn Paavo Nürmi, who wins the 10,000 meters and the cross country, both in individual and team competitions; the Italian Nedo Nadi, who wins five gold medals in six fencing events after having fought in the First War; and the French tennis player Suzanne Lenglen, who loses only four games in the ten sets she plays, stand out.
  49.  
  50. At 72 years and 279 days, Swedish fencer Oscar Swahn wins a silver medal and becomes the oldest medalist at the Olympic Games. One of the yachting classes is held in two countries: Belgium and the Netherlands. At these Olympic Games, the competition oath is introduced, and the Olympic flag is raised for the first time.
  51.  
  52. The colors of the five rings (red, green, blue, yellow and black with white in the background) represent the union of the five continents and all the flags of the IOC member countries have at least one of these colors.
  53.  
  54. Bizarre events such as the cinch race are held. The English athlete Philip Noel Baker, silver medalist in the 1,500 meters, would later win the Nobel Peace Prize. John Kelly, an American rower, defeats the British in two events, who contemptuously treat him as a "manual laborer".
  55.  
  56. Kelly, offended, sends his green cap to King George V. Years later, he becomes the father of Grace, the future Princess of Monaco. 2,669 athletes (2,591 men and 78 women) from 29 countries compete in 154 events.


Olympic games nowadays



Now, sports fans from diverse nations are waiting for Tokyo 2020. Due to the pandemic, the event was postponed, but soon we will experience once again all excitement that Olympic games can bring to us.

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