for the founders of the Modern Olympic Games
November 11, 2005
Mention Zappas in the same breath and preceding the names of Brookes and Coubertin
Yes, Baron Pierre de Coubertin was a reviver of the modern Olympic Games and the founder of the International Olympic Committee. Yes, William Penny Brookes was a founder of the modern Olympic Movement. But Philip has forgotten to mention the name of the first founder and reviver of the Olympic Games in modern times. He has also forgot to mention that the Games at Much Wenlock have never been held in a stadium (which, unfortunately, is a requirement before a Games can qualify as "Olympic", even the ancient Olympic Games in Greece were held in stadiums). Nor that Olympic-like events were not incorporated till the early 1860s.
The real founder of the modern Olympic Games was a Greek billionaire philanthropist who you've never heard of. His name was Evangelis Zappas. It was Zappas who sponsored the first modern Olympic Games which were held in a town square (no stadium) in 1859. Note that the Wenlock Olympian Games were only called "Olympian Games" in 1859 and the "Wenlock Olympian Society" was only called by this name in 1860. Zappas paid for the refurbishment of the ancient Panathenian stadium which was first used for a modern Olympic Games in 1870, then in 1875, then 1896, 1906 and in 2004 (that's where the archery contest was held and where the marathon finished). This was the first modern Games to be called "Olympic Games" It was also the first modern Games to be held in a stadium like the ancient Olympic Games with similar athletic events.
Zappas also paid for the building of the first indoor Olympic Arena which is called the Zappeion. It was used for the Olympic fencing contests of 1896 and 1906 and as the media centre for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
Remember to always mention Zappas in the same breath and preceding the names of Brookes and Coubertin. Look up Zappas at www.zappas.org.
Recommended reading by Zappas.org: