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1896 Athens Olympic Games
  Modern Olympic Games  
The first attempts to reestablish the Olympic Games were made in the middle of the 19th century. The municipality of Letrinoi (today the town of Pyrgos, west of Olympia) edited in 1838 a book, “The Modern Olympic Games”, written by loannis Chryssafis. It expressed the organize, every four years, an edition of the Olympic Games in Pyrgos. In 1850, Minas Minoidis suggested the revival of the games publishing the book of Philostratos, “Gymnastikon'”, that he had found on Mount Athos. These initiatives continued with the Zappian Olympiads, financed by the foundation of the national benefactor Evangelos Zappas.

Through a special decree issued on the 19th of August 1858, the authorities decided to organize in Athens "general contests carried out every four years under the name of OLYMPIA, with the intention to show the products of Greek power and especially of industry, agriculture and livestock". These first Olympic Games were held on the 15th of November 1859 and were considered as a fiasco because of the trade exhibition they included.

The revival of the Olympic Games is inseparably associated with Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Born in Paris in 1863, he went to the military school of Saint-Cyr and showed a great interest in sociology and pedagogics. He studied the history of ancient Greece with devotion and dreamed of an educational system that would promote courage and wisdom in people. In his studies of the history of ancient Greece, he was impressed by the greatness and purity of the spirit of the antique Olympic Games. Pierre de Coubertin proposed the organization and holding of the
Olympic Games, defining also the Ideological content of the institution: the necessary international character of the games, the inclusion of the majority of the sports which would aim to develop friendship and cooperation among the nations, the stabilization of worldwide peace, the abolition of racial discrimination and the necessary foundation of an international committee which would be the trustees of Olympism. His first generous intention was made in the amphitheater of Sorbonne, in 1892.

In 1894, at the international congress for the study and spread of the principles of athletics held in Paris, his proposal for the revival of the Olympic Games was accepted and the International Olympic Committee was founded, with Dimitris Vikelas as president and Pierre de Coubertin as a general secretary. In accordance with the latter's proposal, the Olympic Games would be held every four years, in a different country. At this congress, Greece was represented by Dimitris Vikelas, who had been appointed representative of the Panhellenic Gymnastics Association. Along with Greece and France, England, Netherlands, Italy, Australia, America, Sweden, Spain, Russia, Belgium and Hungary also sent their representatives. Pierre de Coubertin wanted to give the honour to Greece and he suggested that the first modern Olympic games should be held in Athens, a proposal finally accepted. The first issue of the Bulletin of the International Olympic Committee stated the following: “The fruitful idea for the reestablishment of these games is an idea basically Greek and it was an act of justice to hold the first ones on the ground where they were born”

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6th April - 15th April
14th May - 28th October
  St. Louis
1st July - 23rd November

27th April - 31st October

5th May - 27th July
(did not take place)
20th April - 20th Sept.
4th May - 27th July
17th May - 12th August
  Los Angeles
30th July - 14th August
1st Aug.- 16th Aug.
(did not take place)
(did not take place)
29th July -14th August
19th July - 3rd August
22nd Nov - -8th Dec.
the ambassadors of the Olympic Movement throughout the world, but do not act as representatives of their country of origin, thus remaining free from governmental interventions or other interests.

The president is the head and the manager of the IOC. The first president was D. Vikelas. After the first modern Olympic games in Athens, the presidency was assumed by Pierre de Coubertin, who organized the Olympic Games of 1900 in Paris. He remained in this position until 1924.

Since 1915, the headquarters of the Committee are in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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The International Olympic Committee, established by the 1894 congress in Paris, is an organization of international prestige which, according to Pierre de Coubertin, comprises "the laying of the foundations of the Olympic idea". It controls the Olympic Games, assigned to a city, not to a country, following a relevant application forwarded by that city. The IOC cooperates in the organization of the Games with the National Olympic Committee of the country in which the games are to be held. The IOC consists of 75 members who, in accordance with the statutes of the association, are lifetime members and can only resign voluntarily. They are
25th August - 11th Sept.
10th October - 24th Oct.
12th Oct. - 27th Oct.
26th August - 11th Sept.
17th July - 1st August
19th July - 3rd August
  Los Angeles
28th July - 12th August
17th Sept. - 2nd Oct.
25th July - 9th August
19th July - 4th August
In 1949, in a session of the International Olympic Committee in Rome, the officials decided to establish the International Olympic Academy, carried out twelve years later, in 1961. Every year, thousands of athletes and people involved in sports from all over the world are accommodated here, where they interact and participate in congresses.
As a tribute to the memory of Pierre de Coubertin, Greece erected a simple monument, in the area known as the “Coubertin Grove”. This monument holds the embalmed heart of the great Hellenist, brought to Greece by his wife, a year after his death, in 1938.

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15th Sept. - 1st Oct.
13th August - 29th Aug.
The Olympic Flame is lit on the altar in front of the Temple of Hera, in Olympia. A group of girls, dressed in ancient-style garments, gather around the altar. Their leader, who carries out the duties of the prothereia, or vestal priestess, lights a torch from the rays of the sun using a metallic reflector. The prothereia then gives the sacred flame, already placed in a special vessel, to a runner. He brings it first to the memorial statue of Pierre de Coubertin, where he lights the altar in honour of the reviver of the Olympic Spirit. The flame is then carried by thousands of athletes, first to Athens and then to the city in change with the organization of the Olympic Games.
At Olympia, under the care of the Greek Committee of the Olympic Games, there is the Museum of the Modern Olympic Games. The museum exhibits rare ob-jects, such as Olympic coins, medals of Olympic winners, the torches used to bring the Olympic flame, as well as a rich photographic material. The presen-tation of each modern Olympiad held is of a great interest, accompanied by pos-ters, pictures, lists of Olympic winners, documents and medals. The most im-portant exhibit of the Museum is the famous and unique stamp collection of the founder of the Museum, G. Papa-stefanou, on the subject of the Modern Olympic Games of the last 100 years.
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