Trivia Minute April 6, 2015

Episode 37: First Modern Olympics

by Marcus Michelson

April 6 marks the anniversary of the first modern Olympic games in Athens, Greece, in 1896.

Here are three things you might not know about the first modern Olympics:

First: Greece had the largest contingent of athletes with 169 participants. The next largest delegation was from Germany with 19 athletes, followed by the United States with 14.

Second: The first person to win an Olympic event was Greek fencer Leonidas Pyrgos.

Third: The US won the most events with 11. All the victories came in track and field along with shooting. 12 of the 14 American participants earned medals. Because only the top two finishers were awarded medals at the time, two of the Americans were retroactively awarded bronze medals.

Our question: First and second place finishers were not awarded gold and silver medals respectively at the first Olympics. What types of medals did they earn?

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