1896 Summer Olympicswikipedia
The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was the first international Olympic Games held in modern history.
1896 Summer Olympics18961896 Olympics1896 Athensfirst modern Olympic Gamesfirst modern OlympicsAthens 18961896 Gamesfirst1896 Olympic Games

Spyridon Louis

Spyros LouisSpyridon "Spyros" LouisSilver Cup
The United States won the most gold medals, 11; host nation Greece won the most medals overall, 46. The highlight for the Greeks was the marathon victory by their compatriot Spyridon Louis.
Spyridon "Spyros" Louis (also spelt Spiridon, Σπυρίδων "Σπύρος" Λούης, sometimes transliterated Loues; 12 January 1873 – 26 March 1940) was a Greek water-carrier who won the first modern-day Olympic marathon at the 1896 Summer Olympics, thereby becoming a national hero.

International Olympic Committee

IOCInternational Olympic CommitteeOlympic Committee
Organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which had been created by Pierre de Coubertin, it was held in Athens, Greece, from 6 to 15 April 1896.
The first Summer Olympics organised by the IOC was held in Athens, Greece, in 1896; the first Winter Olympics was in Chamonix, France, in 1924.

Athens

AthenianAthensAthenians
Organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which had been created by Pierre de Coubertin, it was held in Athens, Greece, from 6 to 15 April 1896.
Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it one of only a handful of cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once.

Marathon

marathonmarathon racemarathon runner
The United States won the most gold medals, 11; host nation Greece won the most medals overall, 46. The highlight for the Greeks was the marathon victory by their compatriot Spyridon Louis.
When the modern Olympics began in 1896, the initiators and organizers were looking for a great popularizing event, recalling the glory of ancient Greece.

Panathenaic Stadium

Panathinaiko StadiumPanathenian stadiumStadium
The main venue was the Panathenaic Stadium, where athletics and wrestling took place; other venues included the Neo Phaliron Velodrome for cycling, and the Zappeion for fencing.
After being refurbished, it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was the venue for 4 of the 9 contested sports.

Olympic Hymn

Olympic anthemanthemThe Olympic Hymn
Afterwards, nine bands and 150 choir singers performed an Olympic Hymn, composed by Spyridon Samaras, with words by poet Kostis Palamas.
The anthem was performed for the first time for the ceremony of opening of the first edition at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.

1900 Summer Olympics

1900 Summer Olympics19001900 Olympic Games
However, the 1900 Summer Olympics were already planned for Paris and, except for the Intercalated Games of 1906, the Olympics did not return to Greece until the 2004 Summer Olympics, 108 years later.
A decision was made to hold the first Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens and that Paris would host the second celebration.

Cycling at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Cycling189696
The main venue was the Panathenaic Stadium, where athletics and wrestling took place; other venues included the Neo Phaliron Velodrome for cycling, and the Zappeion for fencing.
At the 1896 Summer Olympics, six cycling events were contested at the Neo Phaliron Velodrome.

2004 Summer Olympics

2004 Summer Olympics20042004 Olympic Games
However, the 1900 Summer Olympics were already planned for Paris and, except for the Intercalated Games of 1906, the Olympics did not return to Greece until the 2004 Summer Olympics, 108 years later.
1996 coincided with the 100th Anniversary of the first modern Olympics, which were also held in Athens.

Fencing at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Fencing1896summer of 1896
The main venue was the Panathenaic Stadium, where athletics and wrestling took place; other venues included the Neo Phaliron Velodrome for cycling, and the Zappeion for fencing.
At the 1896 Summer Olympics, three fencing events were contested at the Zappeion.

Carl Schuhmann

Schuhmann, Carl
The most successful competitor was German wrestler and gymnast Carl Schuhmann, who won four events.
Carl Schuhmann (12 May 1869 – 24 March 1946) was a German athlete who won four Olympic titles in gymnastics and wrestling at the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, becoming the most successful athlete at the inaugural Olympics of the modern era.

1906 Intercalated Games

1906 Intercalated Games1906 Summer Olympics1906
However, the 1900 Summer Olympics were already planned for Paris and, except for the Intercalated Games of 1906, the Olympics did not return to Greece until the 2004 Summer Olympics, 108 years later.
This was apparently a compromise: after the successful games of Athens 1896, the Greeks suggested they could organize the games every four years.

Athletics at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Athletics189696
At the 1896 Summer Olympics, the first modern Olympiad, twelve athletics events were contested.

Olympic Village

Athletes VillageAthletes' VillageOlympic village
A designated Olympic Village for the athletes did not appear until the 1932 Summer Olympics.

Gymnastics at the 1896 Summer Olympics

Gymnastics189696
At the 1896 Summer Olympics, eight gymnastics events, all for men, were contested in Panathinaiko Stadium.

Zappas Olympics

1870Olympic GamesOlympics
The 1870 Olympics at the Panathenaic stadium, which had been refurbished for the occasion, had an audience of 30,000 people.
The same stadium would also host the first IOC Games of 1896, the 1906 Intercalated Games, and archery and the marathon finish at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Shooting sports

sports shootersport shooterShooting
Swimming was held in the Bay of Zea, fencing at the Zappeion, sport shooting at Kallithea, and tennis at the Athens Lawn Tennis Club.
This fact certainly contributed to the inclusion of five shooting events in the 1896 Olympics.

Kallithea

Kallithéa (Καλλιθέα)
Swimming was held in the Bay of Zea, fencing at the Zappeion, sport shooting at Kallithea, and tennis at the Athens Lawn Tennis Club.
Near the center of the town the Shooting Range (Skopeftirion) was built to house events of the first modern Olympic Games, the 1896 Summer Olympics, and these first modern games took place in three venues: the refurbished ancient stadium of Athens (Panathinaiko Stadium) 2 km NE of Kallithea, the Neo Phaliron Velodrome (currently Karaiskaki Stadium) 2 km SW of Kallithea, and the Kallithea Shooting Range (Skopeftirion).

Archery at the 2004 Summer Olympics

Archery2004 Summer Olympics2004
During the 2004 Games, Panathinaiko Stadium served as host for archery competitions and was the finish line for the athletic marathon event.
The stadium, often called Kallimarmaro, is notable as the site of the first Olympic Games and even earlier, where the Ancient Greeks' Panathenean Games were hosted.

Karaiskakis Stadium

Georgios Karaiskakis StadiumAGeorgios Karaiskakis
The velodrome would be renovated into a football stadium in 1964 and was known as Karaiskakis Stadium.
It was used during the 1896 Summer Olympics as the Neo Phaliron Velodrome, where Frenchman Paul Masson took the three track cycling gold medals.

Constantine I of Greece

Constantine IConstantineKing Constantine I
After a speech by the president of the organising committee, Crown Prince Constantine, his father officially opened the Games.
Subsequently, Constantine was instrumental in the organization of the 1896 Summer Olympics; according to Pierre de Coubertin, in 1894 "the Crown Prince learned with great pleasure that the Games will be inaugurated in Athens."

Olympic Games

OlympicOlympicsOlympian
The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the I Olympiad, was the first international Olympic Games held in modern history.
The Olympics have been commercialised to various degrees since the initial 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, when a number of companies paid for advertising, including Kodak.