Because of one man, who? Pierre de Coubertin.

It came about as in 1889 when he had the concept of reviving the Olympic Games.  Then, he spent the next five years just trying to get a meeting of athletes and sports enthusiasts, and, of course, when they finally got together, they loved it!

That was in June 1894 when he finally got them together in Paris, they called it a congress.  There they loved the idea and unanimously decided that the inaugural modern Games should be in Athens, basically, it was a no brainer, Greece was the birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games.

Coubertin’s had certain ideals about sport that he wanted to promote.  He:

  • Believed in competition among amateur rather than professional athletes, in which he saw great value.
  • Hoped that the Ancient Olympic tradition of a sacred truce would give the Olympics a role in promoting peace.
  • Expected that sporting competition would promote understanding across cultures, thereby lessening the dangers of war.
  • Saw the Games as important for his dream that the competition itself, the struggle to overcome one’s opponent, was more important than winning.

 

Coubertin expressed this in these words:

The important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle,
the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

It finally happened on April 6th 1896, fourteen nations and 241 athletes went to Athens to participate, unfortunately they only came from Europe and the United States but the real surprise, believe it or not, was that  the winners didn’t get Gold medals! They got silver ones with the runners getting copper ones.

From this small beginning look what it has grown into today!

Our musical The Ancient Olympics – The Legend of Callipateira which you can download at https://www.educationalmusicals.co.uk/product/the-ancient-olympics-download/ takes your children to the legends behind the modern Olympics.

Isn’t history fun!