Olympic Games - 1896 Athens
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The 1896 Summer Olympics, conceived by Pierre de Coubertin, was held in Athens from 6-15 April 1896. It attracted 245 competitors (some 200 Greek) from 14 countries. Female athletes were not allowed to compete. Panathinaiko Stadium, then the biggest in the world, held the largest crowd ever to watch a sporting event. The highlight for Greeks was the marathon victory by compatriot Spiridon Louis. The most successful competitor was German wrestler and gymnast Carl Schuhmann with four gold medals
First Summer Olympics 1896

The German individual gymnastics champions: Schuhmann, Flatow, and Weingärtner

Spyridon ("Spyros") Louis ( 1873 – 1940) was a Greek water-carrier who won the first modern-day Olympic marathon at the 1896 Summer Olympics, thereby becoming a national hero.

Spyridon ("Spyros") Louis ( 1873 – was a Greek water-carrier who won the first modern-day Olympic marathon at the 1896 Summer Olympics, thereby becoming a national hero.

Leonidas Pyrgos was the first Greek Olympic medallist in the history of the modern Olympic Games, winning his fencing event of the 1896 Summer Olympics on 7 April 1896.

Leonidas Pyrgos was the first Greek Olympic medallist in the history of the modern Olympic Games, winning his fencing event of the 1896 Summer Olympics on 7 April

Dimitrios Loundras, center, at the 1896 Olympics, a Greek gymnast won a bronze at the age of 10 years and 218 days.

Dimitrios Loundras, center, at the 1896 Olympics, a Greek gymnast won a bronze at the age of 10 years and 218 days.

1896 Olympic Games. Athens, Greece. King George of Greece and Princess Alexandra walk in front of the Prince of Wales and Queen Olga

1896 Olympic Games, Athens, Greece, King George of Greece and Princess Alexandra walk in front of the Prince of Wales and Queen Olga (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Andre Castaigne King George I Of Greece Presenting Awards At The 1896 Olympics

Olympics Dairy: Most Important moments in Marathon

Spyridon Louis, in the centre dressed as an Evzone, at the medal ceremony for the marathon at the Athens 1896 Games. This shepherd gave Greece its first gold medal of the modern Olympic Games. The stir around this victory followed him his whole life, so much so that he was selected as flag-bearer of the Greek delegation at the Berlin Games in 1936. Olympics

Browse Best of Athens 1896 Olympic Games latest photos. View images and find out more about Best of Athens 1896 Olympic Games at Getty Images.

1896 olympics

Olympic fever appears to have taken over the country, with Britain hosting, and performing astoundingly well, particularly in the cycling events, perhaps even putting cycling on the map as a national sport.

Panathinaiko Stadium - host of first modern Olympic Games in 1896

Panathinaiko Stadium - host of first modern Olympic Games in 1896

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