/ PAST Games
Updated: 2006-08-25 10:31
The first Summer Olympics, held in Athens in 1896, featured 241 participants from 14 countries competing in 43 events. The Games were the brainchild of French thinker Pierre de Coubertin, who had championed the concept of a revival of the Olympics of classical antiquity as a way to foster world peace two years earlier.
Victors at the first Olympiad received a silver medal and an olive branch. Carl Schumann, of Germany, took first place in three gymnastics events and the Greco-Roman wrestling tournament. When Spyridon Louis, a Greek shepherd, won the marathon, he became a native hero. Greece beat the United States in the medal count 46-20.