Why Were the Olympics Revived

With the official title: Games of the I Olympiad, the 1896 Summer Olympics, had been celebrated as a multi-sport event in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to 15, 1896. The series of events witnessed in it constitute the first international Olympic Games ever took place in the Modern era. Ancient Greece was the cradle of the Olympic Games, accordingly Athens was considered to be the right choice to hold the inauguration of modern Games.

The selection of Athens, as the host city, was a unanimous decision in a congress meeting arranged by a French pedagogue and historian, Pierre de Coubertin, on June 23, 1894, in Paris. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was also set up in this congress meeting.

In the 18th century, many short-range sports festivals throughout Europe were titled as the Ancient Olympic Games. At the Panathenaic stadium, the 1870 Olympics witnessed about 30,000 spectators which did not increase years afterwards. Coubertin followed Dr.William Penny Brooke’s ideas to fashion a multi-national sport event — the ancient sports were in a way international, because various Greek city-states and colonies participated in the sport festival, nevertheless, only free male athletes of Greek origin were allowed to perform.

Olympics Why Were the Olympics Revived

Coubertin published an article in La Revue Athletique in 1890, which advocated the importance of Much Wenlock—a rural market town in Shropshire, England. It was at this juncture that, by October 1850, William Penny Brookes, a local physician, had founded the Wenlock Olympian Games, a festival of sports and amusement that comprised of athletics and team sports, such as football, cricket, and quoits.

In June, 1894, Coubertin arranged another congress at the Sorbonne, Paris to introduce his plans to reps of sports associations from 11 countries of the world. After formal acceptance of his proposal the congress needed to choose a date to hold the modern Olympic Games for the first time in modern history.

Coubertin first proposed that the Games should be commissioned with the start of the 1900 Universal Exposition of Paris. Worried over the six-years length of the period that it could mitigate the public enthusiasm for the Games, the members of Congress instead decided to inaugurate by the year 1896. After the date was decided the Congressmen shifted their focus of attention to selecting the host city.

It had been a puzzle throughout the course of history as to how do the Congressmen chose Athens as the host city for the inaugural celebrations. Years later, Demetrius Vikelas and Coubertin tried to record the rules and regulations for the process of selection that was in sheer contrast with the ones published in the minutes of the Congress. Some accounts maintain that the majority of congressmen was initially in favor of London as the host city, but it was Coubertin who differed.

After extending a short deliberation with Mr. Vikelas, who was a Greek rep, Coubertin proposed Athens at length. Vikelas officially announced the Athens proposal on June 23. The Congress, in response thereto, was unanimous to accept Greece being nominated for Olympics. All this official harnessing eventually favored Vikelas to be selected as President of International Olympic Committee.

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