In the afternoon of March 25, 1896, the Olympic Hymn was heard for the first time, initiating the Revival of the Olympic Games and their presence consequently in modern history. Two hundred and forty-one athletes from 14 countries gave life to Baron Pierre de Coubertin's dream. Spyros Louis won the Marathon race giving our country a symbolic victory that was celebrated with enthusiasm at the Panathinaic Stadium.
Many attempts had been made to revive the Olympic Games. The Zappeian Olympiads in 1859, 1870, 1875 and 1888-1889 and the Olympia in 1870. Athens beat Paris and London as the first city to host the modern Olympic Games, and the news brought enthusiasm and skepticism…. mainly about the financing.
The Panathenaic Stadium housed weight-lifting, gymnastics, wrestling and track and field, Zappeion Megaron housed fencing, the Bay of Zea housed swimming. Other venues were the Tennis Club of Athens, the Velodrome of Faliron, and the Shooting Gallery at Kallithea.