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On This Day… The Return Of The Olympic Games

Written by: George Chittenden : 15 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 6th April, back in 1896 when the Olympic Games, a tradition of ancient Greece, returned after 1500 years! The first recorded Olympic Games were held at Olympia in 776 B.C, however it’s widely believed the games were at least 500 years old even then. The games flourished and by 500 B.C contestants from one-hundred cities throughout the Greek empire were competing.

Initially the competition focused on running races, but over time a number of other sports were added, including wrestling, horse and chariot racing. When Rome began to gather its strength, the Olympics declined, and in 393 A.D. the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, who was a Christian, banned the Olympic Games to suppress paganism in the Roman Empire.

In 1896 the ancient tradition returned, with 280 participants from 13 nations competing in 43 events. It also featured the first marathon competition, which followed the 25-mile route run by a Greek soldier who brought news of a victory over the Persians from Marathon to Athens back in 490 B.C.

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