5 Little Known Stories of the First Modern Olympic Games

5 Little Known Stories of the First Modern Olympic Games

The modern Olympic games appeared 120 years ago on April 6. The day was observed with a Google Doodle. The origins of the Olympics go back much further, to the ancient Greece of 3,000 years ago. Those games were held in honor of the Greek god Zeus. The original Olympics were held every four years. The first written reference to the event was in 776 B.C., when a cook named Corebus won the only event that was held that year – a footrace. Although that was the first written reference to the games, they are believed to have been held for many years earlier. The modern games were revived in 1896 in Athens. There are many amazing stories from the inaugural Olympic Games. Here are some stories you don’t know about Athens 1896.

Everyone Gets a Trophy


Everyone in the 1896 Olympics received a trophy. Of the 250 participants, which hailed from 13 countries, every single won was awarded a bronze medal. The original highest prize was a silver medal, given to the winner of the event. Gold would not become the top prize for eight more years. The athletes competed in 43 events covering nine sports: swimming, gymnastics, track, cycling, wrestling, weightlifting, fencing, shooting, and tennis. Americans dominated the event, winning 11 first-place honors, followed by the Greeks, who took home the second most medals. The silver medal featured the face of Zeus in keeping with the ancient games.

Katie Zahel
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