Friday, June 15, 2012

Olympics: Brief history of the Modern Games: 1906, Athens

In 1906 there were games held in Athens which were called the 1906 Olympic Games or the Intercalated Games. These games were not awarded the title of Olympiad because they were held between the III and IV Olympiads. While medals were distributed to the participants during these games, the medals were not officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). After the successful games of Athens 1896, the Greeks suggested they could organize the games every four years. Since they had the accommodations and had proven they could hold well-organized games, they received some support. However, Pierre de Coubertin, opposed this and preferred organizing the games in different countries to make the Olympic Movement more international.

The 1906 games were quite successful and short by comparison to the Olympiad. These Games were the first to have the Opening of the Games as a separate event. Athletes entered the stadium as national teams, marching behind their flags. The official opening of the games was done by King Georgios I.

The 1906 Intercalated Games was also the first to have an Olympic Village at the Zappeion. They also introduced the closing ceremony, and the raising of national flags for the victors.

Peter O'Connor of Ireland won gold in the hop, step and jump (triple jump) and silver in the long jump.

In protest at being put on the British team, O'Connor scaled the flagpole and hoisted the Irish flag (Erin Go Bragh), while the pole was guarded by Irish and American athletes and supporters.

Reviewed 12/02/2016

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