1900: The First Paris Olympics

Highlights of Olympics history

The 2024 Olympic Games will mark the 100 year anniversary of the last time that Paris hosted the Olympics and the third time overall. Much has changed since the 1924 games and even more so since the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. Here’s a brief history of the Olympic Games and of France’s role in the famous event:

  • The first Olympic Games were held from 8th century BC to the 4th century in Olympia, Greece. Athletes competed in the nude.
  • The games were held in honor of the god Zeus and their origin was attributed to the greek Gods.
  • The first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896 in Athens, more than 1500 years after the original Olympic Games.
  • Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee, is considered the father of the modern Olympic Games.
  • Greece, Australia, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are the only countries who have been represented at all Summer Olympic Games since 1896.
  • During the second Olympic Games, which were held in Paris in 1900, France dominated the event, winning a total 101 Olympic medals including 26 gold medals.
  • In the 1904 Olympic Games, France was not able to send a delegation to Saint Louis, USA, but Albert Cory, a Frenchman living in the United States, competed in the event.
  • Many competitions from the 1900 Paris Olympic Games no longer exist including pigeon shooting and tug-of-war.
  • Several unusual events were held solely for the 1900 Olympic Games including automobile and motorcycle racing, and hot air ballooning.

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