Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search


Etc.

August 11, 2008



In the beginning, Olympic competition was Eurocentric

Skip to next paragraph

The Olympic Summer Games, which opened Friday in Beijing, are surely the world's most ambitious international event, with a record 204 countries sending roughly more than 10,000 athletes – not to mention referees, judges, trainers, coaches, and support staff – to participate over the next two weeks. This is a far cry from the decidedly more modest first modern Olympics in 1896, a mostly parochial, Western European affair held in Athens, with 245 athletes (all of them men) from 14 countries. Only five of those countries (designated below by asterisks) have never missed a summer Olympics. The nations that attended the inaugural Games:

Greece *
United States
Germany
France *
Britain *
Denmark
Hungary
Austria
Switzerland *
Australia *
Sweden
Italy
Bulgaria
Chile

Permissions