BackgroundItalian authorities were preparing to hold the games when Mount Vesuviuserupted on April 7, 1906, devastating the city of Naples. Funds were divertedto the reconstruction of Naples, so a new venue was required. London wasselected, and the games were held in White City alongside the Franco-BritishExhibition, at the time the more noteworthy event. Berlin and Milan wereother candidates.The White City Stadium, built in short time for the games, held 68,000 andwas considered by some a technological marvel. The stadium track was threelaps to the mile, not the current standard of 400 metres, with a pool forswimming and diving and platforms for wrestling and gymnastics in themiddle.
How many nations participated?There was considerable controversy, as the United Kingdom participatedas a single country, including the Irish, which they disagreed.Participated 22 nations:
How many nations participated?1. Argentina2. Australasia3. Austria4. Belgium5. Bohemia6. Canada7. Denmark8. Finland9. France10. Germany11. Greece
How many nations participated?1. Argentina 12. Great Britain2. Australasia 13. Hungary3. Austria 14. Italy4. Belgium 15. Netherlands5. Bohemia 16. Norway6. Canada 17. Russia7. Denmark 18. South Africa8. Finland 19. Sweden9. France 20. Switzerland10. Germany 21. United States11. Greece 22. Turkey
Which sports events took place? There were 24 sports disciplines in this Modern Olympic Games:• Archery • Rugby union• Athletics • Sailing• Boxing • Shooting• Cycling • Swimming• Diving • Tennis• Fencing • Tug of war• Figure skating • Water motorsports• Football • Water polo• Gymnastics • Wrestling• Hockey • Rowing• Jeu de paume• Lacrosse• Polo• Rackets
Important moments: pietriThe most famous incident of the games came at the end of the marathon.The first to enter the stadium, Dorando Pietri of Italy, collapsed severaltimes and ran the wrong way. Not far from the finish, two officials tookhim by the arms and brought him to the line. As a consequence, aftercrossing the line he was disqualified. The medal went to AmericanJohnny Hayes of the Irish American Athletic Club who was second, butthe glory went to Pietri. Since he had not been responsible for hisdisqualification, Queen Alexandra next day awarded him a gilded silvercup.
The winter events and the philosophyThese Games were the first to include Winter events, as hadoriginally been proposed for the Games. There were four figureskating events, although held months after other events.For the first time the Olympic creed that "the most important thing inthe Olympic Games is not to win but to take part" was publiclyproclaimed, and its creator, a bishop from Pennsylvania, uttered it ata service at St. Pauls Cathedral on July 19.