Olympiad reborn

Olympiad reborn

On April 6, 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens some 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. The architect of the Olympic revival was a Frenchman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who served as president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1896 until 1925. At Athens in 1896, the modern reincarnation of the ancient pageant of athleticism involved 13 nations, 280 men, and no women. Ten sports were represented in 43 events, and it was fitting that a Greek, Spyridon Louis, won the marathon, an event that dates back to 490 B.C. In 1924, the year before Pierre de Coubertin’s retirement as IOC president, the first truly successful Olympic Games were held in Paris, involving over 3,000 athletes, including more than 100 women, from 44 nations. At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, more than 10,000 athletes from 200 countries competed, including nearly 4,000 women.