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    First Modern Olympic Games Kick Start In Greece: Back In Time

    By

    April 6, 2016

    Back in Time is ED’s newspaper-like column that reports an incident from the past as though it has happened just yesterday. It allows the reader to re-live it several years later, on the date it had occurred.

    For this incident, we go back in time to 1896.

    April 6, 1896:

    I hereby proclaim the opening of the first International Olympic Games at Athens.” With these words, King George I of Greece revived the long-lost athletic tradition yesterday, as he greeted the crowd that gathered in the Panathenaic Stadium to witness the first modern-day Olympic Summer Games.

     

    The Opening Ceremony at the 1896 Athens Olympics.

    The vestiges of the ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC where athletes participated in wrestling, chariot racing and running races among many other sports. However, the rising Roman influence had kicked it to the brink. The Games saw a revival at the hands of a young Frenchman, Baron de Coubertin, who was inspired by the ardent participation of people in the ‘Wenlock Games’, in diverse events like bicycle races, fencing, a one-mile flat race. He founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to work on the rejuvenation of the Olympic games.

    Pierre_de_Coubertin_Anefo

    1896:

    Yesterday, April 6, marked the kick start of the maiden modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. 280 participants from 13 nations participated in nine sports and 43 events over 10 days, including weightlifting, gymnastics, cycling, fencing, tennis, shot put and the marathon. The winners were rewarded silver medals while the runners-up received bronze medals. Surprisingly, there were no female competitors in the tournament as they were assumed unfit for the events.

    Runners-in-the-Stockholm-Olympics-1912

    1914:

    Coubertin has proposed a design of five interlocked rings, as the emblem of the IOC’s 20th-anniversary celebration in 1914 which becomes the official Olympic symbol in the following year.

    Olympic-Rings-large_trans++X9gqeEfKXQcqd954t2rXzvTSL8SM4yNVj_ZSDGesqAM

    The rings symbolize brotherhood and togetherness of the countries coming together at this one huge celebration. They are 5 in number symbolizing the inhabited continents in the world and the colours appear on all the national flags of the countries participating therein.

    1924:

    Paris is home to the first officially successful Olympic Games involving women participation for the first time. The Winter Olympic Games also debuted this year.

    Post Scriptum: This year celebrates the 120th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games. They are the most prominent international sports festival uniting nations and culture and passion since time immemorial. The event brings laurels to sportspersons of caliber achieving new heights of brilliance.

    The Olympic flame is lit by Greek actress Maria Nafpliotou during the handover ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic flame at the Panathenian stadium site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896 March 30, 2008. REUTERS/John Kolesidis (GREECE)

    The Olympic flame is lit by Greek actress Maria Nafpliotou during the handover ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic flame at the Panathenian stadium site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896 March 30, 2008. REUTERS/John Kolesidis (GREECE)

    Google Doodle also honours the 120th anniversary of the prestigious tournament.

    googledoodleapr6

    2016 marks another milestone in the event’s life as South America will be hosting the Olympics for the first time, in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro from August 5, 2016, to August 21, 2016.

    Have a peak here!

    Image Credits: Google

    Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.

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