The Olympics is one of the, if not the most celebrated sporting events in world. This quadrennial event is participated by several nations across the globe. There were several world events where Olympics were involved. Some of them shaped the future of the Games and created noise in international sporting scene. Here are the most talked about Olympics in history.
Greece 1894: The birth of modern Olympics
In 1894, Greek representative Dimitrios Vikelas suggested that Athen host the Olympics in 1896 in a world congress. Greece had declared bankruptcy a year earlier, but Vikelas with the support of crown prince Constantine asked the Egypt-based Greek businessman George Averoff, one of Greece’s largest benefactors, to sponsor the second renovation of the stadium.
Known as the Games of the I Olympiad, the 1896 Summer Olympics was held in the newly built stadium from 6 to 15 April 1896, the first international Olympic Games in modern history. A total of 241 male athletes in 14 nations, all European, or living in Europe, with the exception of the United States took part in the games. Athletes were aligned on the infield, grouped by nation during the opening ceremony.
On April 6, 1986, the then 27 year old American, James Brendan Connolly, who had won the triple jump with a record of 13.71m, was the inaugural Olympic medallist of the modern Games. Greece finished the Games on top of medal table, with a total of 46 medals bagged, ten of which are gold. The United States clinched 20 medals and topped the gold medal list with 11 gold medals bagged during the Games.
Berlin 1916; Tokyo 1940-London 1944: The cancelled Olympics
In 1916, the German Empire beat bids from Alexandria, Amsterdam, Brussels, Budapest and Cleveland to host the as the Games of the VI Olympiad. Berlin boasted their newly constructed 30,000 capacity “Deutsches Stadion”, now the German Stadium, built in 1913 in Berlin for the event. However, with the outbreak of war in 1914, the 1916 Games were cancelled for the first time in history.
The Olympics resumed after four years with German Empire and its allies during the war were banned from participating. Originally, Tokyo and Sapporo, Japan were awarded the 1940 Winter and Summer Games of the XII Olympiad, the first non-Western country to host the games. However, Japan pulled out after war broke out with China in 1937.
London was supposed to host the Games of the XIII Olympiadin 1944. However, the rise of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler set the World War II that extended the cancellation of the Games. The selection was made at the 38th IOC Session in London in 1939. After four years of hiatus, London was supposed to host the Games of the XIII Olympiad in 1944.
However, the rise of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler set the World War II that extended the cancellation of the Games. The selection was made at the 38th IOC Session in London in 1939. Following the twelve-year halt caused by the outbreak of World War II, the Olympics returned to the international stage, hosted in London,for the first time since 1936 in Berlin. It is called the Austerity Games.
Tokyo 1964: The first non-western host of the Olympics
Aside from being the only country in Asia to acquire hosting rights twice, Japan was also the first country in the continent to host the glorious quadrennial event in sports. Tokyo won the rights to the Games on May 26, 1959 at the 55th International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Munich, West Germany, over bids from Detroit, Brussels and Vienna. It was their second attempt after they pushed back in 1940.
Originally, Tokyo and Sapporo, Japan were awarded the 1940 Winter and Summer Games of the XII Olympiad, the first non-Western country to host the games. It was supposed to be the first time that an Asian country will host the Olympics.However, Japan pulled out after war broke out with China in 1937. Japan was slated to host the Games two decades after the war.
The Games of the 18th Olympiad, the first Olympics to be held in Asia, were staged in Tokyo over 15 days from 10 to 24 October, 1964. This event was hugely significant for Japan as it returned to the global stage as a peaceful nation following the devastation of the Second World War. A total of 5,151 athletes – 4,473 men and 678 women – from 93 countries and regions took part in 163 events in 20 sports.