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Timeline: Olympic Powers

2008 Olympics photo

All-time Summer Olympic Gold Medals

Country Total Medals
1 United States 929
2 Germany* 400
3 Soviet Union 395
4 Great Britain 207
5 France 191
6 Italy 190
7 Other nations 2191
Total 4503

US athletes LaShawn Merritt, Angelo Taylor, David Neville and Jeremy Wariner celebrate victory in the 4x400m relay final at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

* Combines medals won by East and West Germany

2008 Beijing, China XXIX Olympiad

  • 204 Nations
  • 10,942 Athletes
  • 302 Events
2008 Olympics photo

2008 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold medals
1 China 51
2 United States 36
3 Russia 23
4 Great Britain 19
5 Germany 16
6 Australia 14
7 Other nations 143
Total 302
  • China climbs to the top, winning fewer medals overall, but taking more gold medals than the US.
  • A total of 37 venues are used to host the events, including 12 built for use at the Games.
  • The Games enjoy their largest audience in history, with an estimated 3.6 billion viewers.
  • American Michael Phelps breaks the records for most gold medals in one Olympiad and for most career gold medals for an Olympian. He wins eight swimming events.
  • South African swimmer Natalie du Toit, whose left leg was amputated following a crash, becomes the first amputee to qualify for the Olympic Games since Olivér Halassy in 1936.

Left: He Kexin with her gymnastics gold medal in the 2008 Olympics

Right: US swimmer Michael Phelps gets the gold in the Men's 400m Individual Medley event

2004 Athens, Greece XXVIII Olympiad

  • 201 Nations
  • 10,625 Athletes
  • 301 Events
2004 Olympics photo

2004 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 36
2 China 32
3 Russia 28
4 Australia 17
5 Japan 16
6 Germany 13
7 Other nations 160
Total 302
  • USA is victorious again, but China overtakes Russia. Australia also makes a leap to fourth spot.
  • Chile and China earn their first medals in tennis.
  • The archery competitions in Athens in 2004 are staged in the same Panathenaic Stadium that was used for the 1896 Olympics.

Left: Joanne Hayes of USA crosses the finish line and wins gold in the women's 100 metre hurdle final

Right: Jun Zhang, of China, dominates the mixed double badminton events

2000 Sydney, Australia XXVII Olympiad

  • 199 Nations
  • 10,651 Athletes
  • 300 Events
2000 Olympics photo

2000 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 37
2 Russia 32
3 China 28
4 Australia 16
5 Germany 13
6 France 13
7 Other nations 160
Total 299
  • US and Russia finish top, with China breathing down their neck.
  • North Korea and South Korea enter the stadium under one flag.
  • British rower Steve Redgrave wins gold in his fifth consecutive Olympics.
  • A swimmer from Equatorial Guinea, Eric "the Eel" Moussambani, completes the 100m freestyle swim in 112.72 seconds - more than twice as long as the winner.
  • First tests to detect performance-enhancing drug erythropoetin (EPO) are performed.

Left: Andrew Hoy of Australia (Silver), David O''Connor of the USA (Gold) and Mark Todd of New Zealand (Bronze) take the podium after the Individual Three Day Event Show Jumping

Right: Russian Tatyana Lebedeva, silver medal winner in the women's triple jump final

1996 Atlanta, Georgia XXVI Olympiad

  • 197 Nations
  • 10,318 Athletes
  • 271 Events
1996 Olympics photo

1996 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 44
2 Russia 26
3 Germany 20
4 China 16
5 France 15
6 Italy 13
7 Other nations 137
Total 271
  • USA, Russia and Germany are the top three, with China continuing its rise to prominence.
  • Tragic opening as terrorist bomb explodes in the Centennial Olympic Park killing 2 and injuring over 100 people.
  • All 197 recognised National Olympic Committees are represented at the Games.
  • Beach volleyball and mountain biking are the newest additions to the Olympic Games.
  • Austrian sailor Hubert Raudaschl becomes the first person ever to compete in nine Olympiads.

Left: US swimmer Beth Botsford celebrates her gold medal win in the women's 100 metre backstroke with compatriot Whitney Hedgepeth

Right: Russia win the men's team gymnastics event at the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia

1992 Barcelona, Spain XXV Olympiad

  • 169 Nations
  • 9,356 Athletes
  • 257 Events
1992 Olympics photo

1992 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 Unified Team 45
2 United States 37
3 Germany 33
4 China 16
5 Cuba 14
6 Spain 13
7 Other nations 102
Total 260
  • The unified team of former Soviet Union states takes the largest number of medals, followed by the USA and Germany. A total of 64 nations win at least a medal - the highest number yet.
  • The split of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall make the 1992 Olympics boycott-free.
  • Basketball professionals are also accepted. The US Dream Team dominates and takes the gold.
  • In the last lap of the 10,000m final, Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia darts into the lead and goes on to win. At the finishing line, she waits for her opponent Elana Meyer, a white South African. They set off hand-in-hand for a victory lap that symbolises hope for a new Africa.

Left: Alexander Kourlovitch snatches 205 kilograms to win the gold medal in the over 110 kilograms class

Right: Michael Jordan celebrates after winning the gold medal with the US Dream Team

1988 Seoul, Korea XXIV Olympiad

  • 160 Nations
  • 8,391 Athletes
  • 237 Events
1988 Olympics photo

1988 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 Soviet Union 55
2 East Germany 37
3 United States 36
4 South Korea 12
5 West Germany 11
6 Hungary 11
7 Other nations 79
Total 241
  • Soviet Union and East Germany take the podium.
  • Aside from North Korea, Cuba and Ethiopia, there are no widespread boycotts for the first time since 1972.
  • Football is readmitted to the Games after a compromise with FIFA. Tennis also returns.
  • East German athlete Christa Rothenburger becomes the first and only athlete to win medals in both a Summer and Winter Olympics in the same year, taking medals in track cycling and ice skating.

Left: The basketball team representing The Soviet Union celebrate after receiving the gold medals

Right: Andreas Wecker of East Germany performs his routine on the parallel bars in the combined gymnastics competition

1984 Los Angeles, USA XXIII Olympiad

  • 140 Nations
  • 6,829 Athletes
  • 221 Events
1984 Olympics photo

1984 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 83
2 Romania 20
3 West Germany 17
4 China 15
5 Italy 14
6 Canada 10
7 Other nations 67
Total 226
  • China makes an impressive return to the Games, finishing fourth. USA wins comfortably, but Romania is a surprise runner-up.
  • Revenge boycott by USSR and 14 other countries. Libya and Iran are also absent.
  • First marathon for women takes place. The event had been banned in the past as doctors claimed running would "make women age faster".
  • Rhythmic gymnastics and synchronised swimming are also introduced.
  • First privately-financed Olympics, they are a commercial success, thanks to a lucrative broadcasting deal and multiple sponsorships.

Left: Synchronised swimming winner Tracy Ruiz enjoys the closing ceremony with her coach Charlotte Davis

Right: Aurora Dan of Romania and Christiane Weber of West Germany during their match in the ladies team foil fencing competition

1980 Moscow, USSR XXII Olympiad

  • 80 Nations
  • 5,179 Athletes
  • 203 Events
1980 Olympics photo

1980 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 Soviet Union 80
2 East Germany 47
3 Bulgaria 8
4 Cuba 8
5 Italy 8
6 Hungary 7
7 Other nations 46
Total 204
  • USSR and East Germany dominate, while Cuba, Bulgaria and Italy get 8 gold medals each.
  • First Games to be held in a communist country are boycotted by the Americans, West Germany and Japan, along with 62 other nations.
  • Zimbabwe's gold medal winning women's hockey players are each rewarded with an ox when they return home from the 1980 Games.

Left: Teofilo Stevenson on the podium after winning the boxing heavyweight title

Right: Marita Koch of East Germany carrying the baton during the Women's 4 × 400 metres Relay event

1976 Montreal, Canada XXI Olympiad

  • 92 Nations
  • 6,084 Athletes
  • 198 Events
1976 Olympics photo

1976 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 Soviet Union 49
2 East Germany 40
3 United States 34
4 West Germany 10
5 Japan 9
6 Poland 7
7 Other nations 49
Total 198
  • USSR finishes top again, while the US is beaten to second place by East Germany.
  • African countries boycott the Games in response to the inclusion of New Zealand after their rugby team toured the apartheid-torn South Africa.
  • Bermuda becomes the least populous nation to win a medal.
  • Hosting the Games costs Montreal $1.5 billion – an amount they only finish paying off in 2006.
  • 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci becomes first person to score a perfect 10. She does it seven times, in various individual and team events, helping Romania win three golds, one silver and one bronze medal in gymnastics.

Left: John Walker of New Zealand and Frank Clement of Great Britain during the Men's 800 metres heats

Right: Romanian Olympic gymnastics champion Nadia Comaneci celebrates after her routine on the uneven bars

1972 Munich, Germany XX Olympiad

  • 121 Nations
  • 7,134 Athletes
  • 195 Events
1972 Olympics photo

1972 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 Soviet Union 50
2 United States 33
3 East Germany 20
4 West Germany 13
5 Japan 13
6 Australia 8
7 Other nations 58
Total 195
  • Soviet Union gets the largest number of medals, followed by the USA, while East Germany beats neighbours from the West to bronze. The Soviet athletes also dominate the gold medals table.
  • The Games are overshadowed by the assassination of 11 Israeli team members in a Black September terrorist attack.
  • The Republic of Rhodesia, an unrecognised state in southern Africa, is excluded at the request of African nations.
  • The Officials’ Oath is introduced; archery returns to Olympics.
  • British equestrian rider Lorna Johnstone, at 70 years and 5 days, becomes the oldest woman ever to compete in the Olympics.

Left: Competitors rise out of the blocks at the start of the men's 200m final at the Olympiastadion in Munich

Right: American swimmer Mark Spitz holds five of the seven gold medals he won at the Olympics in Munich

1968 Mexico City, Mexico XIX Olympiad

  • 112 Nations
  • 5,516 Athletes
  • 172 Events
1968 Olympics photo

1968 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 45
2 Soviet Union 29
3 Japan 11
4 Hungary 10
5 East Germany 9
6 France 7
7 Other nations 63
Total 174
  • The top three stays the same as in 1964 as the USA continues its domination ahead of the Soviet Union and Japan.
  • Games held at the highest altitude ever - 2,239 metres above sea level. The thin air affects performance in endurance events, but it leads to records in short races, relays, and jumping events.
  • The Olympics are marred by the killing of hundreds of students protesting against the government in Plaza of Three Cultures, just ten days before the start of the competition.
  • In an unprecedented politically-charged gesture, African American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos give the Black Power salute and receive their medals shoeless, but wearing black socks. They are trying to raise awareness of black poverty and racism.
  • The Olympic movement acts against use of banned substances. Swedish pentathlete Hans-Grunner Liljenwall is disqualified after testing positive for excessive alcohol.

Left: Afro-American winners Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the Black Power salute

Right: Vera Caslavska of Czechoslovakia in action during the side horse vault competition

1964 Tokyo, Japan XVIII Olympiad

  • 93 Nations
  • 5,151 Athletes
  • 163 Events
1964 Olympics photo

1964 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 36
2 Soviet Union 30
3 Japan 16
4 Germany 10
5 Italy 10
6 Hungary 10
7 Other nations 51
Total 163
  • USA regains the top spot, pushing the Soviets to second and Japan to third.
  • South Africa is banned by the IOC from taking part due to its oppressive apartheid regime. Algeria, Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire make their first appearances at the Olympics.
  • In 1964 Japan spends about $3 billion to rebuild Tokyo for the Olympics, revitalising a city that had been devastated by earthquakes and World War II bombings.
  • Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina wins six medals for the third time in a row. She still remains the Olympic athlete with the most medals - 18.

Left: Wyomia Tyrus of the United States is flanked by her runners-up for the Olympic 100-meter sprint championship

Right: American boxer Joe Frazier fells his German opponent Hans Huber in the Olympic Super Heavyweight Boxing Final

1960 Rome, Italy XVII Olympiad

  • 83 Nations
  • 5,338 Athletes
  • 150 Events
1960 Olympics photo

1960 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 Soviet Union 43
2 United States 34
3 Italy 13
4 Germany 12
5 Australia 8
6 Turkey 7
7 Other nations 35
Total 152
  • Chinese boycott continues (to end only in 1984), while USSR once again overcomes the US to take the gold, with Italy a surprising third.
  • The Olympic Anthem is officialy adopted. Millions view the Games on television around the world.
  • 18-year-old boxer Cassius Clay, later known as Muhammad Ali, becomes the light heavyweight boxing champion.
  • Ethiopian marathoner Abebe Bikila is the first black African to win a gold medal. He triumphs in the marathon running barefoot.

Left: The cycling event at the 1960 Rome Olympics

Right: Muhammad Ali wins Olympic Gold in the Light Heavyweight division

1956 Melbourne, Australia XVI Olympiad

  • 72 Nations
  • 3,314 Athletes
  • 145 Events
1956 Olympics photo

1956 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 Soviet Union 37
2 United States 32
3 Australia 13
4 Hungary 9
5 Italy 8
6 Sweden 8
7 Other nations 46
Total 153
  • First victory for USSR as they finish ahead of USA and an impressive Australia.
  • Games are boycotted by the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland in protest of Soviet invasion of Hungary. Other absentees include China, Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon.
  • Some equestrian events are forced to take place in Sweden as Australian health services refuse to allow horses in the country in order not to breach quarantine laws.

Left: Soviet champion Vladimir Kuts (left) leads the Olympic 10,000 metres event

Right: US champion Harold Connolly shows his gold medal after having won the Olympic hammer throw event

1952 Helsinki, Finland XV Olympiad

  • 69 Nations
  • 4,955 Athletes
  • 149 Events
1952 Olympics photo

1952 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 40
2 Soviet Union 22
3 Hungary 16
4 Sweden 12
5 Italy 8
6 Czechoslovakia 7
7 Other nations 44
Total 149
  • USA wins, but only just ahead of USSR while Hungary takes the bronze.
  • A Cold-war atmosphere dominates the games as the USSR and People's Republic of China debut to rival the Western nations.
  • Looser restrictions on female competitors allows Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya to set a record for most medals won by a woman in one Olympics, with two golds and five silvers.

Left: American Decathlon medal winners Milton Campbell (silver), Bob Mathias (gold) and Floyd Simmons (bronze)

Right: 1952: Emil Zatopek (1922 - 2000) of Czechoslovakia, receives his gold medal at the 1952 Olympics after winning the 10,000 metres

1948 London, United Kingdom XIV Olympiad

  • 59 Nations
  • 4,104 Athletes
  • 136 Events
1948 Olympics photo

1948 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 38
2 Sweden 16
3 France 10
4 Hungary 10
5 Italy 8
6 Finland 8
7 Other nations 48
Total 138
  • After a 12-year hiatus because of World War II the Olympics restart, but Germany and Japan are not invited while the USSR abstains. The US regains top spot in medals’ table.
  • First political defection: Marie Provaznikova, President of the International Gymnastics Federation in Czechoslovakia, refuses to return home, citing "lack of freedom" after the country's inclusion in the Soviet Bloc.
  • Dutch sprinter Fanny Blankers-Koen is the star performer of the games as the 30-year old mother of three, nicknamed "The Flying Housewife", wins four gold medals in athletics.

Left: American Decathlete Robert Mathias throwing the discus at the Olympics at Wembley Stadium

Right: Football teams listening to the Swedish national anthem at the ceremony for the winners of the 1948 Olympic football event

1936 Berlin, Germany XI Olympiad

  • 49 Nations
  • 3,963 Athletes
  • 129 Events
1936 Olympics photo

1936 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 Germany 33
2 United States 24
3 Hungary 10
4 Italy 8
5 Finland 7
6 France 7
7 Other nations 41
Total 130
  • USA loses out to Germany in the rankings while Hungary comes third.
  • Spain abstains because of the Civil War; USA also considered boycotting due to anti-Semitism in Germany.
  • Nazi Germany is on the rise, pushing ideas about Arian race, but African-American athlete Jesse Owens wins four golds in front of Hitler’s eyes.
  • The Berlin Games are the first to be televised and over 4 million tickets are sold.
  • The Olympic torch is carried for the first time.

Left: 1936 Olympic German Pentathlete team in Budapest

Right: US champion 'Jesse' (James Cleveland) Owens during the Olympic Games in Berlin

1932 Los Angeles, USA X Olympiad

  • 37 Nations
  • 1,332 Athletes
  • 117 Events
1932 Olympics photo

1932 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 41
2 Italy 12
3 France 10
4 Sweden 9
5 Japan 7
6 Hungary 6
7 Other nations 31
Total 116
  • USA wins easily while Italy is on the podium for the first time.
  • The Great Depression hits the Olympics budget hard, with only half of the athletes from 1928 taking part.
  • The length of competition is reduced to just 16 days. No professionals are admitted so no football events are taking place.
  • The Brazilian government can't afford to send its 69 athletes to LA so they herd them onto a ship carrying coffee that they could sell in America.
  • First Games ever to turn a profit - a feat not repeated until Los Angeles hosts the Games again in 1984

Left: Jean Shiley of the USA in action during her record-breaking jump in the high-jump event

Right: Thomas Hampson of Great Britain breaks the tape ahead of Alexander Wilson of Canada to win gold and set a new world record in the 800 metres event

1928 Amsterdam, Netherlands IX Olympiad

  • 46 Nations
  • 2,883 Athletes
  • 109 Events
1928 Olympics photo

1928 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 22
2 Germany 10
3 Finland 8
4 Sweden 7
5 Italy 7
6 Switzerland 7
7 Other nations 49
Total 110
  • USA wins again, but Germany returns with a bang as it finishes second overall.
  • The first Olympic flame is introduced, while the number of female participants doubles.
  • Asian athletes win their first ever medals.
  • Italian gymnast Luigina Giavotti becomes the youngest medallist of all time as she wins silver at 11 years and 302 days old.

Left: Competitors starting the Women's 800 Metres event during the 1928 Olympic Games

Right: Isao Fujiki and Takeshi Kuyama, members of the Japanese team training for the 1928 Olympics

1924 Paris, France VIII Olympiad

  • 44 Nations
  • 3,089 Athletes
  • 126 Events
1924 Olympics photo

1924 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 45
2 Finland 14
3 France 13
4 Great Britain 9
5 Italy 8
6 Switzerland 7
7 Other nations 30
Total 126
  • USA continues to dominate the rankings, but Finland, Britain and France show signs of progress.
  • Originally planned for Amsterdam, the Games are moved to Paris as Baron de Coubertin wants to see them in his homeland one last time before retiring.
  • The Olympics become a truly global event, with around one thousand journalists taking part. The first Olympic village is also built.
  • Germany is still absent, but Latvia, Poland, Uruguay and Ireland make their entrance on the Olympic stage.

Left: American athlete Harold Osborn (1899 - 1975) taking gold in the high jump at the Paris Olympics

Right: Lt Eyres, Captain of the Devonport Services team, gets possession from a line out in a match against the USA Olympic Rugby team

1920 Antwerp, Belgium VII Olympiad

  • 29 Nations
  • 2,626 Athletes
  • 154 Events
1920 Olympics photo

1920 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 41
2 Sweden 19
3 Great Britain 15
4 Finland 15
5 Belgium 14
6 Norway 13
7 Other nations 39
Total 156
  • The Olympics are back after an 8-year break caused by World War I.
  • US still dominates the medals tables, but Sweden, Britain, Finland and the hosts are also successful.
  • The five-rings Olympic flag is officially introduced, along with the Olympic oath.
  • Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Turkey are not invited because of their political actions during the First World War.
  • American boxing champion Eddie Eagan is the only person to have won gold medals in both the Summer and Winter Games. He will also win a gold in 1932, in a bobsled event.

Left: The English eight who defeated the Italians in the Antwerp Olympics

Right: Suzanne Lenglen of France competes in the Women's tennis event during the 1920 Olympic Games

1912 Stockholm, Sweden V Olympiad

  • 28 Nations
  • 2,407 Athletes
  • 102 Events
1912 Olympics photo

1912 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 25
2 Sweden 24
3 Great Britain 10
4 Finland 9
5 France 7
6 Germany 5
7 Other nations 23
Total 103
  • USA wins again, but Sweden is just one gold behind and gets more medals overall.
  • For the first time competitors coming from all five continents participate in the Olympics.
  • Automatic timing devices are first used.
  • A wrestling bout between Estonia's Martin Klein and Finland's Alfred Asikainen lasts 11 hours and 40 minutes. Klein wins.

Left: Swedish gymnasts entering the old stadium in Stockholm

Right: British Women's 4 x 100 Metres Freestyle Swimming Team

1908 London, United Kingdom IV Olympiad

  • 22 Nations
  • 2,008 Athletes
  • 110 Events
1908 Olympics photo

1908 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 Great Britain 56
2 United States 23
3 Sweden 8
4 France 5
5 Germany 3
6 Hungary 3
7 Other nations 12
Total 110
  • The Games gain worldwide recognition. As host, Britain wins largest share of medals.
  • A hastily organised Fourth Olympiad takes place in London as Italy pulls out following the eruption of Vesuvius.
  • Nations’ flags are introduced.
  • A quote by Pierre de Coubertin is established as the motto of the Olympic movement: "The important thing in life is not the triumph, but the fight; the essential thing is not to have won, but to have fought well".
  • Australia and New Zealand compete as Australasia.

Left: Wyndham Halswelle crosses the finish line to win one of the heats of the 400 Metres event

Right: Female competitors in the National Round Archery event

1904 St. Louis, USA III Olympiad

  • 12 Nations
  • 651 Athletes
  • 91 Events
1904 Olympics photo

1904 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 78
2 Germany 4
3 Cuba 4
4 Canada 4
5 Hungary 2
6 Great Britain 1
7 Other nations 3
Total 96
  • USA dominates as only 42 events (less than half) include athletes who are not from the United States.
  • Gold, silver and bronze medals are oficially introduced.
  • American gymnast George Eyser wins six medals despite competing with a wooden leg.
  • Fred Lorz tries to cheat in the marathon by driving most of the distance in a car. He is disqualified.

Left: Competitors take their marks at the start of the 400m race.

Right: The start of the Olympic marathon race at Francis Field, Washington University in St. Louis

1900 Paris, France II Olympiad

  • 24 Nations
  • 997 Athletes
  • 95 Events
1900 Olympics photo

1900 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 France 26
2 United States 19
3 Great Britain 15
4 Mixed team 6
5 Switzerland 6
6 Belgium 5
7 Other nations 13
Total 90
  • After bringing the largest national team at the 1900 Olympics, France also wins the majority of medals.
  • Due to lack of competitors some events are attended by teams of mixed genders and nationalities.
  • Haitian-born French rugby union footballer Constantin Henriquez de Zubiera is the first black athlete to take part in the Olympics.

Left: The Tug-of-War competition is won by a combined Sweden/Denmark team

Right: The yachting competion at the bassin de Meulan

1896 Athens, Greece I Olympiad

  • 14 Nations
  • 241 Athletes
  • 43 Events
1896 Olympics photo

1896 Olympics Gold medals by nation

Country Gold Medals
1 United States 11
2 Greece 10
3 Germany 6
4 France 5
5 Great Britain 2
6 Hungary 2
7 Other nations 7
Total 43
  • French historian Pierre de Coubertin revives the games, inspired by the ancient Olympiads and William Penny Brookes’s Wenlock Olympian Games.
  • Most competitors come from Greece, Germany, France and Great Britain. These countries also win the majority of medals.
  • No women are allowed to take part. The organisers describe their inclusion as "impractical, uninteresting, and incorrect".
  • 80,000 spectators are in attendance, including King George I of Greece.

Left: Three athletes in training for the marathon at the Olympic Games in Athens

Right: Greek shepherd Spyridon Louis (1873 - 1940), winner of the 40 km marathon is joined by King George I of Greece on the last lap of his run at the Athens Olympics

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