Olympic Games Quiz: 1896 Countries

This poll/quiz question about the number of countries represented at the first modern Olympic Games has been superseded by the 1896 Athens Olympic Games Quiz. This page has been kept as it contains more information and a great discussion about the number countries participating at these Games.

How many nations were represented at the very first modern Olympic Games in Athens, in 1896?

ten (10) countries 601 24%
thirteen (13) countries 1297 51%
sixteen (16) countries 403 16%
twenty-one (21) countries 228 9%

Total votes: 2529

See the Correct Answer


The answer is 14 (maybe 13!). I originally believed 13 was the correct answer, but since then I have also found the information below that contradicted these figures. It may be anywhere from 10 tor 15.

The commonly listed countries are:

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Bulgaria
  4. Chile
  5. Denmark
  6. France
  7. Germany
  8. Great Britain & Ireland
  9. Greece
  10. Hungary
  11. Italy
  12. Sweden
  13. Switzerland
  14. United States

from: wikipedia

"The number, given by the International Olympic Committee, is open to interpretation and could be as few as 10 and as many as 15. There are numerous reasons for the disparity: National teams hardly existed at the time, and most athletes represented themselves or their clubs. In addition, countries were not always as well-defined as they are today. The number of countries here reflects the number used by most modern sources."

from: http://www.mediaconcerto.com/Olympic/athens1896/report_1896.php

"Coubertin had difficulty getting interest in the Olympics among many of the nations of the world. Only 15 countries participated in the Athens 1896 Olympics. Many of the top athletes in the world did not compete, as the Games were not well advertised. The athletes who wished to compete had to pay their own way to Athens. In addition, the qualifying trials were conducted only in Greece."

from: www.aafla.org

"From the offical report at ... in Athens 1896 Olympics, there were officially 15 countries, including Great Britain & Ireland (as one)."

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