Our First Olympics

A CENTURY AGO a tiny American team arrived in Athens drained from an awful journey and proposing to take on the champions of Europe with—among other handicaps —a discus thrower who had never seen a real discus

THERE WERE SURELY MOMENTS DUR- ing the long journey to Greece when James Connolly was seized with foreboding, convinced this antic venture was doomed to failure. Connolly and a dozen countrymen, who constituted America’s first Olympic team, certainly had cause for misgivings as they sailed toward Athens and the revival of the long-dormant Games in 1896. These thirteen competitors—an unlucky thirteen, it seemed—had received no financial support from the nation they were to represent.

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