Athens 1896

Games Trivia

Panathinaiko Stadium

Also known as the Panathenean Stadium, the historic arena had a history dating back 2300 years. However, it had laid buried for centuries until 1870, when King George ordered it excavated. Little happened on the site until Greek architect Georgis Averoff offered to pay the million drachmas needed to cover all costs associated with the rebuilding.

Panathinaiko Stadium was again restored for the Athens Games in 2004, where it hosted all four archery events and the finish of the men’s and women’s marathons. It proved one of the showcase venues of the Games.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin

Baron Pierre de Coubertin is credited with being the founder of the modern Olympics. The Frenchman was the first IOC President, serving from 1896 to 1925. He was an educational theorist convinced of the importance of sport for the development of the individual. He believed that the qualities of initiative, teamwork, sportsmanship and fair play should be encouraged in young people who participated in sports and competitive games.

In 1892, de Coubertin, at the age of 29, began to rally support for the revival of the Olympics. He felt that a great deal could be gained by bringing together the youth of the world in friendly competition. He also believed that the Modern Olympic Games could become a period of harmony in which all differences of status, religion, politics and race would be forgotten.