Talk:1896 Summer Olympics

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Featured article 1896 Summer Olympics is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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For whatever reason, yeah, they rank them according to number of gold medals primarily; I don't know what's next most important for those with the same number of gold, but to stay consistent, U.S. is still going to have to come before Greece. -- John Owens 10:17 Apr 9, 2003 (UTC)

In spite of the note from 'Average Earthman' below the coverage that I have seen in the U.S. and Canada, be it paper, tv or radio, from 1968 to today have total medal count as the primary ranking criteria. I can't speak to how other countries do this, or how it was done farther back, but the way the medal count table is set up now is a bit confusing. However, having perused all the summer olympic articles I see that wiki is consistent in doing this so I am not proposing that it be changed. I'll simply leave this minor grievance here for others to see and agree or disagree with. MarnetteD | Talk 23:37, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

How did Australia participate? We weren't a nation until 1901. - Mitch Edgeworth, Perth

Participation in the first couple of games wasn't by nation, hence there were no national Olympic Committees to select teams. So you didn't have one unified British Empire team. Average Earthman 12:03, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Medal count[edit]

I have seen medal scores allocated on the basis of either:

  • total medals


  • gold=3, bronze=2, silver=1.

Those two measures seem more reasonable to me than simply ignoring silver and bronze medals.

In any case, medal rankings that ignore population size simply weights the rank towards large countries. For example, Switzerland is at the bottom of the list, but it has 1/40 th of the population of the United States. It actually got 5 times the medals per citizen.
Bobblewik 10:44, 27 Jul 2004 (UTC)

The medal ranking used here is the convention, as used by the IOC and various major media organisations worldwide. Average Earthman 12:03, 19 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Per my note above, I would be interested to see any paper or TV listing that you can direct me to that lists by gold medal first. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not being cranky. I just have never seen it that way and would like to add to my knowledge. As to the current IOC website, yes their summary list is headed by most gold medals won, but it is important to note that they DO NOT have a total medals won column (I think they are trying to keep us up on our addition so that we don't forget how to do it). MarnetteD | Talk 23:37, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

There are a couple of medal count inconsistencies between the tally on this page, and the tally at [1] (see the "Medals by country" link on that page)

  • Wikipedia:
    • Greece 10 / 18 / 17
    • Mixed team 1 / 0 / 0
    • Greece 10 / 17 / 19
    • Mixed team 1 / 1 / 1

I know the mixed team issue generates some anomalies, but I'm tempted just to align all figures with the IOC site. -- Chuq 03:02, 20 Aug 2004 (UTC)

For anyone curious as to how the medals tables got to be the way they are here, the site includes the results of Dionysios Kasdaglis in "Greece" for the listing of Greek results but the Egypt/Greece pairing of Kasdaglis/Petrokokkinos as "Mixed Team". I have no idea why they do that. The current WP table lists 10/16 (17)/19 for Greece - this excludes Kasdaglis's results except for the paranthetical listing (for the silver medal in doubles tennis), which is there by merit of Petrokokkinos. If Kasdaglis is counted as Greek, the Greek results would be 10/18/19 and mixed team would be 1/0/1. -- Jonel | Speak 23:18, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

The games had 43 events, but only 42 medals were awared due to the table. What is about the medal that was won by Ireland and Germany? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Our convention is to list the top 10 nations in a partial table on these articles, but link to the page with the full table (1896 Summer Olympics medal count, in this case). For these Games, there are only 11 entries on the full table, so perhaps we should just put in the missing row, namely the medals won by Mixed team at the 1896 Summer Olympics, which includes your missing medal won by a tennis doubles team from GBR (as IRL did not have an independent Olympic team yet) and GER. Andrwsc 14:20, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree. It's too confusing with that small a number of competing NOCs. Jaredtalk  17:24, 6 April 2007 (UTC)

anniversary of the outbreak of the war for Greek independence?[edit]

In the Opening ceremony section it reads:

On 6 April, 2008, the Games of the First Olympiad were officially opened. It was Easter Monday for both the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic and Protestant churches, and was the anniversary of the outbreak of the war for Greek independence.

What war for Greek independence was that? I was about to wikilink it to Greek War of Independence, but I can't find that date mentioned there. Is this maybe some Gregorian/julian calender thing, or is there maybe another war of independence that this date was an anniversary for? Shanes 22:13, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it's a calender thing. Read about it in note 3. ;-) Shanes 21:30, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Austrlalian Medal Count[edit]

If Edwin 'Teddy' Flack won the 800m and 1500m, then why does Australia have no gold medals in the tally?

I'm guessing the medal tally at the time of this posting included Flack as British (this would lead to the 1/0/0 "mixed team" results as well). It has since been modified to consider Flack's participation as Australian. -- Jonel | Speak 23:18, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

Nations - Bulgaria[edit]

I don't know what and why "most sources" list, but Bulgaria did participate in the first Olympiad, sending five athletes and only one competing, Charles Champaud, a Swiss teacher (who represented Bulgaria according to the BOC) that came fifth in the vault (gymnastics) and also took part in two other disciplines. Bulgaria was 11th in the final standings with 2 points. Source: Bulgarian Olympic Committee website. Here's the Swedish Olympic Committee website that also says Bulgaria took part: [2].

According to Coubertin, Pierre De; Timoleon J. Philemon, The Olympic Games: BC 776 – AD 1896 (, page 80 : "IV. Contest Exercises on the vaulting Horse. In that contest 17 Champions took part, but there was only one Hellene amongst them, M. Petmezas of Patras, the rest comprised, a Bulgarian, Mr Champoff, Mr Zutter a Swiss, and several Hungarians and Germans" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:46, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Chile also claims an athlete in 1896. I think adding those two and subtracting Egypt probably gives the 14 the IOC counts. -- Jonel | Speak 04:37, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Nations - Cyprus[edit]

14 nations? Since when the IOC are experts in political geography?

1. Kasdaglis is from Egypt, an Ottoman province under British mandate. Petrokokkinos is apparently from Greece. The IOC tells Kasdaglis is Greek but give no information about Petrokokkinos, but they are listed as a mixed team. According to IOC, Petrokokkinos is from where? And if he is Greek, then Kasdaglis would be Egyptian (unless we have a proof he was representing Greece at the 1896 Olympics).

2. Smyrna was, and still is, part of Turkey (Ottoman Empire at the time), except for the years 1919 to 1922. Unless we have prooves they were reprensenting Greece, we should list the two athletes from Smyrna under the Ottoman Empire flag.

3. Cyprus was since 1878 an Ottoman province administered under British mandate, a distinct entity like Egypt. Unless we have prooves Anastasios Andreou was competing from Greece, he should be listed under Cyprus.

4. But maybe we should list Kasdaglis and Andreou under Ottoman Empire... I would like to see what is the official version of the Turkish NOC on this subject.

5. For the cases of Bulgaria, Chile and Italy, if the affirmations of those NOC are not challenged by others (particularly the Swiss NOC and the IOC), they should be listed as participating countries.

6. My opinion is that we should list those countries: Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland and United States, a total of 16 countries.

Souris2005 09:36, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

I should have add Ottoman Empire because of the two athletes of Smyrna. That city was undisputedly in Turkey at the time, and there is no resason to think they were representing a particular country, but more their hometown. My opinion is there should be 17 countries listes instead of the 14 of the IOC, unnamed by the way. Souris2005 03:31, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Feel free to let us know once you get the IOC to update itself. Good luck. -- Jonel | Speak 05:59, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I doubt it's even a debate for them, they probably don't care at all.Souris2005 16:04, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

The first modern international Olympic Games[edit]

The first, second, and third modern international Olympic Games held in Athens in 1859, 1870, and 1875 were not minor events. The 1870 Games was held in a bonafide Olympic stadium. An ancient stadium that was refurbished for the revival of the Olympic Games (when Baron Pierre de Coubertin was only 7 years old). Athletes participated from Smyrna, Crete, and Macedonia at these Games (all of which were still part of the Ottoman Empire). Which automatically qualifies the 1859, 1870, and 1875 Olympic Games as international.

That same Panathenian stadium was used a total of five times for the Olympic Games: 1870, 1875, 1896, 1906, and for events in 2004.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin didn't suddenly wake up one morning and decide that he was going to revive the Olympic Games. He jumped on the Olympic bandwagon. Asked the Greeks if they could organize yet another Olympic Games and the Greeks gladly obliged and paid for it.

What thanks do the Greeks get for reviving the Olympic Games in modern times? They are ignored completely. Baron Pierre de Coubertin apparently had a brainwave of inspiration whilst he covered his eyes with blinkers pretending that he knew nothing about the revival in Greece. Then the IOC continues to claim that the Baron revived the Olympic Games in modern times.

Then there are all the stupid quotes from the Baron and from Samaranch about how Much Wenlock was first and completely ignore what happened in Greece.

To revive the Olympic Games in modern times: 1. You had to have an Olympic stadium (which they had in 1870 in Athens but didn't have in 1900 in Paris). 2. Revivals can only be revived in the place of origin. So the revival had to come from Greece and there had to be Greek athletes involved. You can't call a Games "Olympic" unless it had some connection to the original "Olympic Games". What better connection than the ancient Panathenian stadium. 3. A revival must also have authentic athletic events. It had to be at the very least a national revival from Greece or an international revival including Greece. Dr Brookes national event at Crystal Palace in 1866 was a valiant attempt and he deserves credit for that. But let's not confuse the sports days that they called the Wenlock Olympian Games with the Olympic Games. There is no comparison. Granted that the Baron borrowed many of Dr Brookes ideas for the IOC's version of the Olympic Games. But let's make no mistake. The Wenlock Olympian Games were not Olympic-like before the 1860s and didn't really qualify as anything like an Olympic Games before that one single national event in 1866. Nipsonanomhmata 04:17, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Switzerland on Map[edit]

Switzerland is listed as a participant nation and has its own page, yet it isn't filled in on the map. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Imlepid (talkcontribs) 23:11, 16 August 2006.

Completely hadn't noticed that, but you're definitely right. I don't know how to fix images like that, but I'll drop a note on the uploader's talk page. -- Jonel | Speak 04:15, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
yikes dont know how I missed that, but its fixed now --Astrokey44 05:08, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

pigeon racing[edit]

I've definately heard pigeon racing was featured, either on the bbc or another reputable website. Plokt

I think you are thinking of the 1900 Games. Andrwsc 22:01, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Proposal to remove date-autoformatting[edit]

Dear fellow contributors

MOSNUM no longer encourages date autoformatting, having evolved over the past year or so from the mandatory to the optional after much discussion there and elsewhere of the disadvantages of the system. Related to this, MOSNUM prescribes rules for the raw formatting, irrespective of whether a date is autoformatted or not). MOSLINK and CONTEXT are consistent with this.

There are at least six disadvantages in using date-autoformatting, which I've capped here:

Removal has generally been met with positive responses by editors. Does anyone object if I remove it from the main text in a few days’ time on a trial basis? The original input formatting would be seen by all WPians, not just the huge number of visitors; it would be plain, unobtrusive text, which would give greater prominence to the high-value links. Tony (talk) 12:55, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

Not at all, go ahead. Parutakupiu (talk) 20:00, 21 July 2008 (UTC)


I want to improve the Dutch article (Olympische Zomerspelen 1896) to a Featured article and therefore I would use the English article as a good example. While reading this article I saw the notes like Young (1996), 153; Zarnowski (1992), 16–32; Sears (2001), 159; I wonder what they refer to. Are thay pages of books or magazines or something else? And how can I read them? Are they to be found online or not?

Greetings from the Netherlands,

Rubietje88 (talk) 12:18, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, they are indeed page numbers of books and/or magazines. The list of what books and magazines is at the bottom of the page, in the "references" section. If they are online, they should be linked there as well. -- Jonel (Speak to me) 12:35, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I did not understand that! Well, thank you very much and I hope this will bring me lots of information. ;)
Greetings from the Netherlands, Rubietje88 (nl) 12:41, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

We all screw up sometimes[edit]

"the Olympics did not return to Greece until the 2004 Summer Olympics, some 104 years later." Now correct me if I am wrong, but 2004-1896=108. - POKETNRJSH(not logged, too lazy) - 10 Sept. 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:44, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Error on map[edit]

In 1896 Austria Hungary was the Union of Austria and Hungary. The Austrian portion contained modern Austria, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Austo Hungarian controlled Poland. Hungary comprised modern day Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. The whole of Austria-Hungary should be shaded. It is anachronistic to only shade modern Austria and Hungary. --User:

1896 Olympic Games was not the first in the modern era[edit]

You cannot say that the 1896 Olympic Games was the first Olympic Games of the modern era. That simply is not true. The Olympic Games sponsored by Zappas preceded these Games. Refer to The Modern Olympics, A Struggle for Revival by David C. Young. The tickets sold for the 1859, 1870 and 1875 Olympic Games had the name Olympics printed on them. The 1896 Olympic Games was preceded by four Olympic Games including the national Olympic Games held at Crystal Palace in London in 1866. Obviously the predecessors weren't organised by the IOC since Baron Pierre de COubertin had not been born before 1st of January 1863. Nipsonanomhmata (talk) 02:06, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 23:57, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

19th century[edit]

The Panathinaiko Stadium wasn't the only olympic stadium used in the 19th century. The 19th century lasted from 1801 to 1900, meaning that the Vélodrome de Vincennes also held the olympics in the 19th century. Eirik1231 (talk) 13:31, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Date and language format[edit]

The article appears to have been originally using the American (Month Day, Year) date format. Over time it draw away from that format and in February the the International (Day Month Year) format was officially applied. I have restored it based on my research. However, it looks odd with the amount of British English used. If it is decided that it should be returned so that the International date format is used, I can easily do that and if someone contacts me, I will gladly do it. However, returning the ordinals to the events table should not be done. --16:42, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

Orphaned references in 1896 Summer Olympics[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of 1896 Summer Olympics's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "D":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 10:03, 2 February 2015 (UTC)