History of the Games

Origin and History...
The Modern Olympic Games
The Olympic Principles and Traditions
Politics and the Olympics
Olympic Controversies
The Olympics in Photos

The Olympics in Photos

IOC/Olympic Museum Collections
The first modern Games were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece, with 13 countries and 311 athletes taking part in the competition. During the first modern Olympics, medals were awarded to only the top two finishers: a silver medal to the winner and a bronze medal to the runner-up. The winner also received a crown of olive branches, and the runner-up a laurel crown. Competition was in nine sports, and all the athletes were male.