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Where were the first modern Olympics held?

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In Athens in 1896 right? Wrong!!

The correct answer is in the picturesque town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire,England in the year 1850,forty-six years before those other events kicked off in Athens.And it was a local English doctor,not a French baron who first came up with the idea!

From the town's website:

"Welcome to Much Wenlock, the home of the modern Olympics - no! We're not kidding!

Much Wenlock Olympics  

In 1850 Local G.P. Dr William Penny-Brookes (1809 - 1895), who introduced physical education into British schools, inspired the fore-runner of the modern Olympic Games for the "promotion of moral, physical and intellectual improvement" and although the Game's venue is now decided by international committee rather than by by the parish council, we still hold our own Olympics here in protest every July - the other Olympics are also doing quite well too!

"The old womans" race for a pound of tea may yet be re-introduced as an olympic sport.

William Penny Brookes vision for the Olympic Games is hailed as one of modern sports greatest achievements. Of course, Baron de Coubertain was inspired to create the global event after a visit to the games in Much Wenlock.

Coubertain discussed how the Wenlock games might be translated on to a bigger, international stage.

The influential and wealthy Frenchman was suitably inspired and shared Brookes' dream of a modern, international games. The first games of the modern Olympics took place in Athens in 1896.

Juan Antonio Samaranch, then president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), visited Much Wenlock in 1994 and laid a wreath at Brookes' grave.

"I came to pay homage and tribute to dr Brookes, who really was the founder of the modern Olympic Games."

Sadly the good doctor Brookes died in 1895 aged 87, just four months before the modern Olympic Games were started in Athens in April 1896. He was a tireless campaigner and altogether good egg, he will not be forgotten. However, the full story can be found in the Much Wenlock Museum, along with the history of the town and other information on the unique geology of the Wenlock Edge."


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Well we've all got to start somewhere.

From little acorns,mighty oak trees grow!    :cool:

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Uh-huh.  And man is descended from the mouse.   :rolleyes:

Just because you don't want to change your name to Penny-Brooke!  I think it might suit you.


I think he just doesn't want to swap being a Baron in order to become a mere Doctor!  :laughlong:

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