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Restoration of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens

12 April 2011 / 17:04:47  GRReporter
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Restoration of the first modern Olympic Games held 115 years ago was made at the Kalimarmaro stadium in Athens. Children from primary schools throughout Greece took part in the games before the theatrical performance. The Olympic champions - the athlete Pighi Devetzi, the gymnastics Dimosthenis Tambakis, George Andreadis, the fighters Fannie Psatha and Vassilis Kolaros - also attended the event.
The attempts to restore the Olympic Games began in England and France four centuries ago, but they failed to gain international response and participation. Once the archaeologists discovered the ancient city of Olympia in the 19th century, the interest in the games grew and in 1894 during the congress at the Sorbonne in Paris, Baron Pierre de Coubertin presented his ideas, reading in short and simple that the restored Olympic Games could be an example of how to improve the physical condition of the people and to unite the nations through physical education, rather than make wars. So, the country where the ancient Olympic Games were born hosted in 1896 the first modern international Olympic Games. Although the number of participating athletes did not exceed 250 people, this was the biggest sports event that happened then.

The athletes participating in the first Olympic Games in 1896 competed only in five sports: athletics, cycling, fencing, gymnastics and swimming. An interesting fact is that rowing was among the Olympic sports of the first Olympic Games, but the races were not held due to bad weather.

Тhere were demonstration races by 1992 which were not part of the official program, but their goal was to present to the public sports like baseball and curling, which are played only in certain countries. The International Olympic Committee added in the last year snowboarding and beach volleyball to the Olympic Games to attract more spectators.

A total of 29 Olympic Games were held since the first ever Olympic Games and Olympic Games for children aged between 14 and 18 years was organized in Singpur last year for the first time.  

During the event, the children were awarded for their participation in Kids Athletics. "The Kids Athletics Programme is organized by the Olympic Committee in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. Children from primary schools across the country take part in it. They come to the Kalimarmaro stadium, learn its history and get acquainted with the Greek culture. Then, they enter the stadium and learn about the sports of athletics in the form of group games. This is done every day during the school year and a pilot project will be carried out for the first time in ancient Olympia in the last week of May this year," told the Kids Athletics coordinator Denis Panagopoulou.  

Subsequently, the children sat on the benches of the stadium and actors dressed as athletes and girls dressed as priests appeared. After the theater restoration which presented the moving story of the first marathon runner Spyros Louis, the children competed in running and then painted on: "The First Modern Olympic Games ... Athens - 6 - 15 April, 1896".

"This is a celebration organized by the National Olympic Committee of Greece, which restores the first Olympic Games held. This week is the anniversary and we try to introduce the sports, the Olympic values ​​and the Olympic education to the children and to bring them closer through various organized events. The Greek youth needs this and we as an Academy are trying to accomplish these goals. The children will take part in the celebration today. First, they will watch a performance for the first Olympic Games with dance and music, and then they will draw. The Olympic champions of Greece are guests of the celebration and we hope that this festival would be established in our country as a celebration of the Olympic Education," told the chairman of the National Olympic Academy Isidoros Kouvelos.

Tags: NewsSocietyOlympic GamesRestorationWinter Olympic GamesSummer Olympic GamesChampionsMarathonCompetitionChildren
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