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The First Summer Olympics

Part 2: How the Games Began

The modern Olympics were the result of a chance discovery and group determination.

Archaeologist Ernst Curtius of Germany excavated the ruins of Greece's ancient city-state of Olympia from 1875 to 1881. Among the ruins, he found the remains of the giant Olympic Stadium, home to the ancient Olympics from 776 to 393 B.C.

The discovery fired the imagination of many people who dreamed of beginning an international sports competition. One such person was French educator Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who made it his number one priority to revive the spirit of fellowship and competitiveness found in the Ancient Olympics. He organized an international meeting in Sorbonne, France, on June 23, 1894. Out of this meeting came the organization of the International Olympic Committee, which later called for Olympic Games two years later in Athens.

First page > Action at the Games > Page 1, 2 

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