Athens 1896

The Olympic Family

The first IOC members
IOC members in Athens 1896:
(v.l.) Gebhardt (GER), Coubertin (FRA),
Guth-Jarkovsky (Bohemia), Bikelas (GRE),
Kemeny (HUN), Butowski (RUS), Balek (SWE)

On 23 June 1894 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) understood as an festive host has been founded. Up to now its structure bases on Coubertin's ideas. But the first president has become Demetrius Bikelas as representative of Greece as host nation, only in 1896 Coubertin, who self had assumed the office of secretary-general, has taken that office holding it the next 30 years.
The award of the games to Athens seemed to be pointed out a mistake due to the financial possibilities of Greece, at that time one of the poorest countries in Europe. At a very early point of time the indiciation was given that the primarily estimated capital of 150,000 drachma would not suffice.
But the games made advances to the Greek as strengthening of their national consciousness and pride. Indeed, the Greek King George I. born in Denmark has appealed his people so that 300,000 drachma could be received by collections. But even with help of special stamps for the benefit of the Olympic Games that envolved further receipts of 400,000 drachma, the Games could be financed. The Greek millionaire Georg Averoff living in Alexandria who has already built some institutes in Athens, donated the Olympic Stadium of Athens (Panathenaeic Stadium, costs 920,000 drachma), how it standed in its whole magnificence. Keeping in mind that the world has never seen before a competition of such a grand scale, we have to say thanks to George I. and his sohn COnstantin for these "veritable royal" games.