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Athens 1896 - Quick hits


Greece's Spiridon Louys, the marathon winner, refused official refreshments after the race preferring instead a few glasses of wine.

Royal respect

France's Tournoi ran in the 100m sporting white gloves: "I'm running in front of the king," he explained.

Competing spectators

A question mark exists over the precise number of competitors since, at the last minute, some English tourists put their names down to take part in the tennis tournament, notably John Boland who won the singles and the doubles after standing in for a sick player.

Silver medals

In 1896 Olympic champions were presented with a diploma, a crown made from olive twigs and a silver medal.

First champion leaps into the record books

America's James B Connolly was the first athlete to etch his name on the Olympic roll of honour winning gold in the triple jump (13.71m). Later, he took silver in the high jump and bronze in the long jump.

Generous benefactor

Greek benefactor Georges Averoff proposed his daughter's hand in marriage to marathon winner Spiridon Louys, who politely declined.

Natural talent

America's Robert Garrett had never set eyes on a discus before arriving in Athens. But that didn't stop him as he took the gold medal and even added the shot putt title in a remarkable performance.

Copyright 2008 Agence France-Presse.


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