Campaign for the recognition of the founders of the modern Olympic Games

Misinformation published by the International Olympic Committee

The history of the provenance and evolution of the modern Olympic Games has been revised, misinterpreted, and misrepresented by the International Olympic Committee and as such is easily disputed. There are many examples of misinformation published by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the acolytes of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, but only a limited amount of time to list them on this website. Zappas.org will concentrate on some recent examples in the hope that the IOC may learn to stop referring to Baron Pierre de Coubertin as "the founder of the modern Olympic Games".

2012 July 24 - Excerpt from Jacques Rogge's speech - 124th Session of the International Olympic Committee in London
"London has a special place in Olympic history. London will be the first city to host the Games three times."

[Zappas.org says: This claim was repeated by Jacques Rogge and echoed by Lord Coe during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. London is not the only city to have hosted three modern Olympic Games. The IOC recognised Athens 1906, since it was held under its auspices, as its second Olympic Games, against the wishes of Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The Baron revised history after the event despite it being the most successful Olympic Games in modern times at that time. De Coubertin brought Paris 1900 and St. Louis 1904 under the IOC's umbrella despite neither being held under the auspices of the IOC. Athens has hosted IOC-recognised Olympic Games in 1896, 1906, and 2004. If you include the non IOC-recognised events Athens has hosted six modern Olympic Games in 1859, 1870, 1875, 1896, 1906, and 2004). The Panathenaic stadium in Athens hosted events at five of them. Moreover, if we count the London 1866 Olympic Games, that has not yet been formally recognised by the IOC, London has hosted modern Olympic Games four times. Swimming events were held in the River Thames on July 31. Gymnastics were held at a gymnasium in London. Athletics events were held inside the original Crystal Palace. The National Olympic Association was called National Olympian Association at that time. The association was formed for the London 1866 Olympic Games. Dr William Penny Brookes of Much Wenlock was the key organiser and driver of the event. It was the first event to be held outside of Greece to resemble an Olympic Games in modern times. Moreover, the claim dishonors the Olympians of Athens 1906 who were the first to march the parade of the athletes by nation and some of them resided in the first Olympic Village. Those Olympians knew exactly what they were competing for at that time but the IOC no longer formally recognises Athens 1906 as an Olympic Games in the same way that it recognises Paris 1900 and St Louis 1904 that were not held under its auspices. What does that tell you about the IOC? It tells you that the IOC revises history in its best interests.]

2008 August 8 - Excerpt from Jacques Rogge's speech - Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony
"Athletes, these Games were created for you by our founder, Pierre de Coubertin."

[Zappas.org says: C'est pas vrai Monsieur Rogge. The President of the IOC ignores true founders of the modern Olympic Games and deifies the founder of the IOC. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the IOC. The Baron did not "create" the Olympic Games in modern times or in ancient times. Does Mr Rogge seriously believe that Baron Pierre de Coubertin was the "creator" of the Olympic Games? What did he "create" them out of? Was the Panathenaic stadium part of his creation? It was Evangelis Zappas who paid for the initial refurbishment of the Panathenaic stadium and who sponsored the Olympic Games held there in 1870 and 1875. The legacies of both Evangelis Zappas and his cousin Konstantinos Zappas were also used to fund the Athens 1896 Olympic Games. Were the ceremonies that the Baron adopted from Dr William Penny Brookes part of his 'creation' also? How artistic. How godly-like. The Panathenaic stadium would not have been available to be used for the Athens 1896 Olympic Games if Zappas had not paid for its initial refurbishment and two earlier Olympic Games had not been hosted there previously (and in modern times).]

2007 June 23 - Get Involved in Olympic Day! - Olympic.org Press Release (United Kingdom)
"23 June marks Olympic Day - an important day in the history of the modern Olympic Games. On 23 June 1894, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French pedagogue who was convinced of sportís moral and educational value, began the task of reviving the Olympic Games. He set up a committee in charge of organising the first Games and created an international Olympic Movement. Hence the first Games of the modern era were staged in Athens in 1896 and the International Olympic Committee was officially created." (first paragraph)

[Zappas.org says: The IOC claims that the Baron began the task of reviving the Olympic Games in 1894. When are they going to acknowledge that there was a revival before Baron Pierre de Coubertin's hindsight gave him the idea for a revival.]

2007 May 30 - USOC Invites Statewide Colorado Community to Celebrate Worldwide Olympic Day - USOC Press Release to Sports Features Communications (United States)
"Olympic Day is a worldwide commemoration of Baron Pierre de Coubertinís June 23, 1894, convening of the first International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting at the Sorbonne in Paris, and the founding of the Modern Olympic Games." (sixth paragraph)

[Zappas.org says: Yes, the Baron founded the IOC. Unfortunately, the IOC was less than a twinkle in his mother's eye when the Olympic Games was re-established in Athens, Greece in 1859. Pierre de Coubertin was born January 1, 1863 approximately 3.5 years after the first modern Olympic Games was held in Athens in 1859.]

2007 May 14 - Paris 1900: The Games on Exhibition - Olympic.org Press Release (United Kingdom)
"Olympism breaks through barriers. The Paris Olympic Games in 1900 were the second Games of the modern era. The first took place in Athens in 1896, and were enthusiastically greeted. For this reason, the Greeks were keen to keep them. Their wish was not granted, and Paris hosted the Games in 1900. The principle of rotation was an important element for Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. This principle proved to be a decisive factor in the spread of Olympism throughout the world." (second paragraph)

[Zappas.org says: The Paris Olympic Games was not the second Olympic Games of the modern era. Nor was Paris 1900 held under the auspices of the IOC. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894 and had not been born when the first modern Olympic Games was held in a city square in Athens in 1859. Moreover, the IOC itself did not recognise Paris 1900 as an Olympic Games because it had recognised Athens 1906 as its second official Olympic Games. The IOC later revised its own history to claim that Paris 1900 was the second Olympic Games retroactively.]

Undated (viewed 2007 May 3) - Olympic Movement - Official webpage at Olympic.org (United Kingdom)
"The Olympic Movement groups together all those who agree to be guided by the Olympic Charter and who recognise the authority of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)," (from the first paragraph of the section called 'Who Belongs to the Olympic Movement?')

[Zappas.org says: The IOC's 'Olympic Movement' excludes Dr William Penny Brookes to their great shame. If he were included they would have to call him a "Founder of the modern Olympic Movement" which he undoubtedly was.]

"When he announced in Paris, on a winter's evening in 1892, the forthcoming re-establishment of the Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin was applauded, ... The IOC was created on 23 June 1894; the 1st Olympic Games of the modern era opened in Athens on 6 April 1896; ..."

[Zappas.org says: The 're-establishment of the Olympic Games'! The Baron knew about Dr William Penny Brookes and Dr William Penny Brookes would have undoubtedly informed him about Evangelis Zappas. Once again the IOC ignores the modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1859, 1870, 1875, and the modern Olympic Games held in London in 1866. Once again the IOC ignores Evangelis Zappas, founder of the modern Olympic Games, and Panagiotis Soutsos, a founder of the Modern Olympic Movement. Once again the IOC ignores Dr William Penny Brookes, a founder of the modern Olympic Movement, who had organised a national Olympic Games in London in 1866 and who gave the Baron many of the ceremonial ideas that were adopted for the IOC's exclusive 'ignore the true founding fathers of the modern Olympic Games' Olympic Movement.]

2007 Mar 27 - London 2012 Appoints Head of Education - International Sports Movement Press Release (United States)
"Education and learning will be a significant part in our plans for London 2012. Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Games, placed education at the heart of his sporting vision for the Games ..." (excerpt and first sentence of quote from Bill Norris, London 2012 Director of Culture, Ceremonies and Education.)

[Zappas.org says: Bill Morris, of London 2012, needs some "education and learning" on modern Olympic history. Baron Pierre de Coubertin is neither the first or only founder of the modern Olympic Games. However, the Baron did found the International Olympic Committee. Unfortunately, that's not quite the same Bill. Hope you make that clear in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games.]

2007 Mar 16 - First winners of the IOC Sport and Photography Contest - Olympic.org Press Release (United States)
"The results of the first IOC Sport and Photography Contest were announced this week after an international jury, chaired by Zhenliang He, Chairman of the IOC Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, met and deliberated at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne. Through this contest, the IOC is promoting one of its priorities, the association of sport with art and culture, in keeping with the idea of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games." (last sentence of the first paragraph)

[Zappas.org says: Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894. The first modern international Olympic Games to be held in a stadium took place in Athens in 1870 and was sponsored by the Greek billionaire philanthropist Evangelis Zappas. This was preceded by a modern international Olympic Games held in an Athens city square, in 1859 (also sponsored by Evangelis Zappas). Note that the Paris 1900 Olympic Games, which was held outside of Greece, also did not have a stadium. Nor did the IOC recognise the Paris 1900 games as the second Olympic Games until a few years later (retroactively).]

2007 Jan 3 - The Most Famous Unknown in History - Olympic.org Press Release (United States)
"As many people know, Baron Pierre de Coubertin was the founder of the modern Olympic Games. Although his lifeís work is globally known and recognised, the man himself is less so." (the first two sentences)

[Zappas.org says: If you keep telling everyone that the Baron was the founder of the modern Olympic Games for more than a century then most people are going to believe you. But some people are going to find out sooner or later that he was not. Baron Pierre de Coubertin was the founder of the International Olympic Committee but he was not the only founder of the modern Olympic Games. If you keep telling the world that he is the sole founder then nobody is going to hear about the founding fathers that preceded him: Panagiotis Soutsos, Evangelis Zappas, and Dr William Penny Brookes.]

Undated (viewed Jan 2007) - Collectibles and Olympism - Official webpage at Olympic.org (United Kingdom)
"Collecting items commemorating the Olympic Games is not a new phenomenon. In fact, it started with the first Games of the modern era in 1896." (the first two sentences)

[Zappas.org says: First modern Olympic Games was held in an Athens city square in 1859 and Olympic memorabilia does exist for this event including medals and tickets. There are also ancient Greek coins that commemorate the ancient Olympic Games and other ancient Greek Games (including Alexander the Great's equestrian victory and the Wrestlers of Aspendus).]

2002 - The Olympic Movement (PDF file) - Olympic Museum and Studies Centre, Lausanne (Switzerland)
"... At the beginning of the 20th century, the founder of the modern Olympic Games hoped to create a museum responsible for gathering together and preserving the legacy of the Games. " (page 9, second sentence in "History" paragraph)

[Zappas.org says: Evangelis Zappas was not only thinking about preserving the legacy in the middle of the 19th century. He also put his money where his mouth was. Did the Baron dig deep into his own pockets to pay for the building of the Olympic Museum? No he didn't. Evangelis Zappas bought the land that the Panathenaic stadium stood on, paid for the refurbishment of the ancient Olympic stadium (which was used for Olympic Games in 1870, 1875, 1896, 1906, and 2004), and paid for the building of the first modern building to host Olympic events, as well as sponsoring Olympic Games held in 1859, 1870, 1875, that were attended by athletes from outside the boundaries of independent Greece, and he left his vast fortune for the Games to be held every four years in perpetuity. On a recent visit to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne the museum was still promoting Baron Pierre de Coubertin as "the founder of the modern Olympic Games" when it is more accurate to call him "founder of the International Olympic Committee". The modern Olympic Games is bigger than the IOC. It is not just what the IOC considers the modern Olympic Games to be. The IOC should make the effort to incorporate all of the modern history of the Olympic Games and not just glorify its own founder by retroactively amending history in his favor.]


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