Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Olympic opening...


If someone were to ask what James Brendan Bennet Connolly and the small town of Much Wenlock in Shropshire, UK had in common most would be stumped. Me too, until today: US athlete Connolly [Wiki] was the very first Olympic champion of the modern Olympic games (those games are 120 years old today) held in Athens in 1896) when he won gold in the Triple jump (he also got the silver medal High jump and bronze in the Long jump); Much Wenlock actually had hosted its own annual local 'Olympics' [The Olympian Class in 1850:
..."for the promotion of the moral, physical and intellectual improvement of the inhabitants of the town and neighbourhood of Wenlock and especially of the working classes, by the encouragement of outdoor recreation, and by the award of prizes annually at public meetings for skill in athletic exercise and proficiency in intellectual and industrial attainments"
"It was devised by local doctor William Penny Brookes and is still held to this day." [Indie] One of the Independent's "Five things you didn’t know about the first modern Olympic Games that took place 120 years ago" goe son to tell us that "Baron Pierre de Fr├ędy, Baron de Coubertin visited the town in 1890 and was inspired by the townspeople participating in the Games so he founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC)". Excellent, we can claim that too :-) ... as well as "Britain is one of 4 countries (including Australia) to have participated at every games since 1896, but is the only country to have won a gold medal at every games"...if Romacitizen's comments are more fact based than the Independent's 5 points (they got one wrong!).

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