Sunday, June 03, 2012

Olympics Past

A couple of weeks ago at the library, I picked up a coffee table style book on the Olympic games.  It's a pretty nifty deal, with a chapter on each set of games.  There are notes and pictures for each one and I find it all very interesting.  I've been bugging the FP Gal with factoids and it occurred to me that I can bug a somewhat larger audience here.  (Warning, this will probably be a series.)
  • Olympic art has gotten uglier over time.  Back in the early day they tried to revive the Greek celebration of the body.  Today they go with swoops that almost describe a person.  Not an improvement.  (The trippiest is easily 1968 from Mexico City.)
  • The first modern games took place in 1896 and was played in Athens.  About 200 men, mostly Greeks, competed in nine events.  Things have changed a bit since then.
  • The 1900 games were in Paris and they coincided with a World's Fair (which the Eiffel Tower was built for).  The sporting events were very much an afterthought.  The swimming events took place in the Seine.  Women competed in tennis and golf.
  • The next games were in 1904 in St Louis.  The organizers didn't want anything to overlap so competition went from July to November.  An American marathoner was banned after it was discovered that he got a lift from a car(!).  This was also paired with a World's Fair.
  • Athens held the games again in 1906, only two years after St Louis.  This was the first games where nations marched in with flags.  Later these games were downgraded from full Olympic status.  How strange is that?
More to come . . . 

1 comment:

DD4 said...

I'll stay tuned for more chapters on this topic. Very interesting