The first Modern Olympic Games in 1896 07-16-2004 09:49

On March 25, 1896, (Old Calendar) or April 6th, 1896 (New Calendar) a triple celebration began in the Greek capital. The first Modern Olympic Games were underway, while the 75th anniversary of the Declaration of Greek Independence and Easter Monday were all celebrated at one and the same time. This sporting, national and religious coincidence made the Games an unprecedented success.

Approximately 300 athletes from 13 countries participated in this first modern Olympics and competed in 9 different sports: Track and Field, (Marathon Race), Swimming, Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics, Shooting, Lawn Tennis, Wrestling and Weightlifting.

Among the national sporting delegations that attended, Greece had the largest, with 230 athletes who won 10 gold medals.

Spyros Louis, a Greek man with no special training, won the gold medal competing against an all Greek field in the Marathon race, and became a legend admired by the Greek public and the world.

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