Which was the first sport
Hanisauland: Lexicon @todo: from Preprocess
Olympic Games in ancient times
In ancient times, the Olympic Games took place every four years for almost 1,000 years. This four-year period is called the Olympics. In ancient Greece, the competitions were held in honor of the gods. That was also the reason why the Roman emperor banned the games in 393. Because for the Christian Rome, the strongest power at the time, the games were nothing more than pagan cult. So the Olympics were over for the time being.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin
For centuries, people had the idea of reviving the competitions again and again. But this did not succeed until the end of the 19th century - thanks to the French educator and historian Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863 - 1937). His goal was to bring people from different nations and cultures together through peaceful competitions and to show them how important it is to respect one another.
The first modern Olympic Games
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was founded in Paris in June 1894. Two years later, 125 years ago today, the time had come: from April 6 to April 15, 1896, the first modern Olympic Games took place. The venue was Athens in Greece. A conscious decision was made in favor of Greece as the home country of the Games. So that as much as possible was reminiscent of the ancient games, some competitions were held in the ancient stadium, the Panathinaikon, which had been specially restored for this purpose. As in ancient Greece, the first modern Olympic Games were purely for men. Back then it was considered improper for women to play sports. The women took part in the second modern Olympic Games in 1900. Incidentally, the Winter Olympics have also been held since 1924.
Compared to our Olympic Games today, the spectacle in 1896 was rather small. Only 245 athletes from 14 countries took part. That is little when you consider that well over 10,000 athletes from all over the world are expected in London in 2012. There are also many more competitions today than back then. In 1896 the athletes were able to compete in only 43 competitions. The competitions took place in these sports: fencing, weightlifting, athletics, cycling, wrestling, shooting, swimming, tennis and gymnastics. Today there are 306 competitions in 28 sports. One discipline was invented on the occasion of the first modern Olympic Games: the marathon. It recalls the legend of a soldier who is said to have run from the city of Marathon to Athens after winning a battle.
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