Google Doodle History Lesson: 120th Summer Olympics Anniversary

The first modern olympics games hosted 250 male athletes from 14 nations who competed in 43 different events.

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6 April 2016 marks the 120 anniversary of the first modern day olympics. (Photo Courtesy: Google screengrab)

Google has been giving all of us a helping hand by making us more aware of each day’s historic value. Between 6 and 15 April 1896, the first ever summer olympics took place in Athens, Greece making Wednesday, its 120th anniversary.

The summer olympics was the first modern olympics games that hosted 250 male athletes from 14 nations who competed in 43 events reports The Smithsonian.

Women except for horse owners, slaves and foreigners were excluded from this ancient tradition. Some events of the olympics were held inside the ancient Panathenaic Stadium.

The original competition has been traced to 776 BC. It was dedicated to the Greek god Zeus. The olympics took place in the same place every four years and so, this period became known as an ‘Olympiad’.

At that time, only freeborn, male Greeks could represent their cities in the sports.

Running, wrestling, boxing, the pentathlon and equestrian events were a few of the many events that first featured in the Olympics. 

According to the Olympic committee:

In 393 AD, Emperor Theodosius I, who had converted to Christianity, decided to abolish all pagan cults and centres. And thus, the ancient Olympic Games were abolished after more than 1,000 years of existence.

Since 1898 and the popularity of the Olympics has grown exponentially. Summer 2016 in Rio, will witness 10,500 athletes from over 206 countries competing in over 306 events.

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