Exactly 125 years ago the first Olympic Games of the modern era began in Athens. Our reporter Maurits wagenvoort was the only Dutchman present. With him we look real time return. Wagenvoort must also eat and drink, so a voluntary contribution is welcome – at the bottom of this page.
* First day of Athens 1896 completed *
April 6, 9:23 a.m.
As the rebirth of the Olympic Games approaches looked Wagenvoort already in the lead
Athena and Olympia, they were the focal point of civilization at the time, before Rome surpassed them in greatness of thought. A good thought is Olympic again, and, for the first time, designate Greece for this purpose – Maurits Wagenvoort
Huge crowds are reported from the Olympic stadium in Athens, just hours before the arrival of the king and his entourage. A lot of people want to buy a ticket for this first day. Our correspondent can’t wait to get started, so he passes.
How we would love to see these Olympics! May they once again proclaim the great truth that the healthy and harmoniously developed body is the best temple for a healthy and harmoniously developed mind – Maurits Wagenvoort
Crowds at Athens Olympic Stadium
The King and Queen of Greece arrive at the Olympic Stadium for the opening of the Olympic Games. The king is dressed in the uniform of an infantry general. The queen is in white.
The King of Greece declares the Olympic Games open. Around 80,000 spectators are in the stadium, half of all inhabitants of Athens. “Long live Greece. Long live the Greek people! The name of Pierre de Coubertin is never mentioned by him, the founder of the International Olympic Committee.
Our correspondent Maurits Wagenvoort will of course be there.
Is now a modern Athena built, now the stadium has been restored, and again this giant marble creation has become a living being: fifty thousand, not a hundred thousand people, one living being, silently watching, now staring anxiously, then, soon cheering and sometimes disapproving – Maurits Wagenvoorta
The games of the first modern Olympic Games have started! American Frank Lane is his very first 100-meter race winner. The final will take place on April 10.
James Connolly of the United States wins the triple jump over a distance of 13.71 meters. This made him the first Olympic champion of the modern era. Our journalist Maurits Wagenvoort is deeply impressed by the stadium in which these matches take place.
The benches, divided into seats, are in white marble and encircle the camp in semi-circular stages. Behind the upper seating and standing positions – all in the open air – rises steeply up the hill. We climbed among squeaky yellow thorn bushes – the three thistles of our uneven dunes – and rolling stones, and from every place we had the most glorious view of the sea and the ancient temples and camp in the depths . For four consecutive days, riders and discus throwers, riders and gymnasts will compete for the crown of wild olives – Maurits Wagenvoort
Meet our Greek reporter Maurits Wagenvoort, the only Dutch eyewitness to the revival of the Olympic Games. Much of his work is at DBNL bit.ly/3sXuTY6
Robert Garrett of the United States wins the discus throw, a classic Greek sport. In preparation, he had researched how to play the sport in the Princeton library. The disappointment among the Greek spectators is enormous, because they had counted on a compatriot as champion.
And with this message, we conclude this first day of the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens. Tomorrow, among others, the 400 meters in athletics is on the program. Participants are already complaining about the tight turns in the stadium. The shooters and weightlifters will also jump into action tomorrow.