The Modern Olympics Turns 125 Years Old

The National Herald

Spyridon Louis at 1896 Summer Olympics. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

NEW YORK – The Modern Olympic Games turn 125 years old on April 6. The New York Post celebrated the historic occasion with a video including footage from the first modern Olympiad in Athens, Greece, in 1896, and the Games of the early 20th century, including the Intercalated Games of 1906 in Athens, which the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not recognize as an official Olympics, and were referred to as the "Second International Olympic Games in Athens" at the time.

The event was a compromise as Athens, after the success of the 1896 Games, hoped to host the Olympics every four years but Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the IOC, opposed it, according to the Olympics official website,

The Games were held April 22-May 2, 1906, in Athens, at the Panathenaic Stadium, which had already hosted the 1896 Games.

The National Herald Archive

Robert Garrett, gold medalist for shot put and discus in Athens, 1896. Photo from the exhibition Olympic Revival: The 1896 Olympic Games on view at the National Hellenic Museum. Photo by Albert Meyer, official photographer of the 1896 Athens Olympics, courtesy of NHM and the Benaki Museum.

The Post's video also includes footage from the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium, which was awarded the Games that year in the hope of bringing a spirit of renewal to Belgium, which had been devastated during World War I. The defeated countries- Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey- were not invited to participate in the 1920 Summer Olympics.

“As the world anticipates the rescheduled 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, archival footage from the early 20th century shows a simpler time for the international sporting event,” the Post reported.

The video may be viewed online: