The First Modern Olympics
The first modem Olympic Games were held in Athens in April of 1896, and this volume is a description of the sporting and festive events of that occasion, with a large cast of athletes from various countries, including a contingent from Harvard and Princeton who won the hearts of the Athenians as they won most of the first place-medals. But the book is much more than a tale of athletes and organizers. We are given the first real insight into the birth of the modern Olympic movement, and into the personality of a French aristocrat, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, whose vision determined much of the form of international sport today. The author shows that although the modern Olympics have a sentimental bond with the ancient festival, the modern Games are a product of nineteenth century ideals, excesses, and ambitions. Richard Mandell has dispelled some myths, rediscovered forgotten sport heroes, and written a highly readable account of a landmark in modern sport history.
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