15 April 1896

Closing ceremony of the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece

The 1896 Summer Olympics, also known as the Games of the I Olympiad, were the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece, from April 6 to April 15, 1896. The games were organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and were inspired by the ancient Olympic Games that were held in Greece from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.

The 1896 Summer Olympics had 14 events in 9 sports, and 241 athletes from 14 countries participated. The sports included athletics, cycling, fencing, gymnastics, shooting, swimming, tennis, weightlifting, and wrestling. The events were held at various venues in Athens, including the Panathenaic Stadium, which had been rebuilt for the games and was used for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as for the athletics events.

The United States won the most medals, with 11 gold, 7 silver, and 2 bronze, followed by Greece with 10 gold, 17 silver, and 19 bronze. The most successful individual athlete was Carl Schuhmann from Germany, who won four gold medals in gymnastics.

The 1896 Summer Olympics were considered a success, despite some organizational issues and the fact that many top athletes did not participate due to the short notice and the expense of traveling to Greece. The games were praised for their revival of the Olympic spirit and their celebration of international friendship and cooperation.

The success of the 1896 Summer Olympics led to the continuation of the modern Olympic Games, which have been held every four years since then, with the exception of the World War years.