The first Olympic Games were held in Athen, Greece, in 1896. The first modern Games were hardly an international competition. Only 13 nations took part (or was it 14? see quiz answer), represented by about 245 men, competing in 43 events.
More than two-thirds of the competitors were Greek. There were nine sports contested: Artistic Gymnastics, Athletics Cycling (Road & Track), Fencing, Shooting, Swimming, Tennis, Weightlifting, Greco-Roman Wrestling.
Host country Greece won the most medals (47). See the full medal table for 1896.
- At the first games, silver medals were awarded to the winners and bronze to the second place getters.
- James Brendan Connolly of United States, the winner of the triple jump (the first final event in the 1896 Olympics), was the first Olympic champion of the modern Olympic Games.
- Hungarian Alfred Hajos, winner of the first swimming gold medal in 1896, was quoted as saying "My will to live completely overcame my desire to win", after jumping into the cold waters and battling the elements of Mediterranean Sea.
- The Greeks took great joy in their runner winning the first Marathon. Spiridon Louis, a Greek shepherd took the lead 4 km from the finish line and won the race by more than seven minutes.
- The youngest ever Olympian is Greek gymnast Dimitrios Loundras, who competed in the 1896 Games when he was 10 years old.
- No women competed in 1896, as de Coubertin felt that their inclusion would be "impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect."
- Rowing and Sailing (Yachting) were on the program at the 1896 Games, but had to be canceled due to bad weather.
- list of sports at the 1896 Olympic Games
- 1896 Athens Olympic Games Quiz
- Panathenaic Stadium
- Complete list of Olympic host cities
- Athens Intercalated Games 1906
- Athens Olympic Games 2004.
- Greece at the Olympic Games.
- 1896: The Year in Sport