April 6th 1896: First modern Olympics opens

The Opening Ceremony at the 1896 Athens Olympics.

Opening Ceremony of the 1896 Games


On this day in 1896 1,500 years after the original games were banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I, the first modern Olympics celebrated its opening ceremony in Athens, the birthplace of the Games. The Games lasted until 15th April and had the largest international participation of any sporting event to that date. After the Greek games many wanted the event to stay in Athens but the 1900 Games were scheduled for Paris and the Olympics continued to go to different cities around the world, not returning to its home until 2004. The Opening Ceremony on April 6th was held at the Panathinaiko Stadium, with thousands of spectators including foreign dignitaries. The Olympic Games remain a proud tradition, where countries across the globe come together to compete in a sporting event watched the world over. The most recent Games was in London in 2012, and the next will be in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.



100 metre sprint competitors line up

“I declare the opening of the first international Olympic Games in Athens. Long live the Nation. Long live the Greek people.”
– Crown Prince Constantine opening the Games