1906 Intercalated Games

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1906 Intercalated Games
Athletes854 (848 men, 6 women)
Opened by
St. Louis 1904 London 1908

The 1906 Intercalated Games or 1906 Olympic Games was an international multi-sport event that was celebrated in Athens, Greece. [1] They were at the time considered to be Olympic Games and were referred to as the "Second International Olympic Games in Athens" by the International Olympic Committee. [2] However, the medals which were distributed to the participants during these games are not officially recognized by the Olympic Committee [3] and are not displayed with the collection of Olympic medals at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.



The first Intercalated Games had been scheduled by the International Olympic Committee in 1901 [4] as part of a new schedule, where every four years, in between the internationally organized games, there would be intermediate games held in Athens. This was apparently a compromise: after the successful games of Athens 1896, the Greeks suggested they could organize the games every four years. Since they had the accommodation and had proven they could hold well-organized games, they received some support. However, Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the International Olympic Committee, opposed this. Coubertin had intended the first games to be in Paris in 1900. After Paris lost the premiere Olympics, Coubertin did not want the games to be permanently hosted elsewhere. [5]

When the 1900 Olympic Games failed to meet expectations and were overshadowed by the Exposition Universelle, [6] the IOC supported the Greek idea by granting them a second series of quadrennial games in between the first series. [7] All of the games would be International Olympic Games; the difference was that half of them would follow Coubertin's idea of "organisation internationale", while the other half would follow the Greeks' idea of a permanent home with the Greek NOC as experienced organizers. This was a departure from the ancient schedule, but it was expected that, if the ancient Greeks could keep a four-year schedule, the modern Olympic Movement could keep a two-year schedule. As 1902 was now too close, and Greece experienced internal difficulties, the 2nd Olympic Games in Athens were scheduled for 1906. The IOC as a whole gave the Greek NOC full support for the organization. [8]


The Organizing Committee of the 1906 Games Olympic Committee 1906.jpg
The Organizing Committee of the 1906 Games

The 1906 Games were quite successful. Unlike the 1900, 1904 or 1908 games, they were neither stretched out over months nor overshadowed by an international exhibition. Their crisp format was most likely instrumental in the continued existence of the Games.[ citation needed ] Contemporary publications praised the Games:

The Olympic Games of 1906 will go down in athletic history as the most remarkable festival of its kind ever held. They exceeded in every way the successful Olympic Games of 1896 ... The scenes and incidents and everything in connection with the Olympic Games of 1906 made an impression that will never be forgotten and it is hoped that future Olympic Games will be up to the standard of the ones of 1906. [9] :11–13

These Games also were the first games to have all athlete registration go through the NOCs. They were the first to have the Opening of the Games as a separate event: an event at which for the first time the athletes marched into the stadium in national teams, each following its national flag. They were also the first with an Olympic Village, at the Zappeion. They introduced the closing ceremony, the raising of national flags for the victors, and several less visible changes now accepted as tradition.[ citation needed ]


Panathinaiko Stadium in 1906 1906 Athens stadium.jpg
Panathinaiko Stadium in 1906
Panathinaiko Stadium Review of reviews and world's work (1890) (14781699331).jpg
Panathinaiko Stadium

The Games were held from 22 April to 2 May 1906, in Athens, Greece. They took place in the Panathenaic Stadium, which had already hosted the 1896 Games and the earlier Zappas Olympics of 1870 and 1875. The games excluded several disciplines that had occurred during the past two games; it was unclear whether they ought to have been part of the Olympic Games. Added to the program were the javelin throw and the pentathlon.[ citation needed ]


The games included a real opening ceremony, watched by a large crowd. The athletes, for the first time, entered the stadium as national teams, marching behind their flags. The official opening of the games was done by King George I. [9]


The finish of the Marathon THE FINISH OF THE MARATHON RACE.jpg
The finish of the Marathon

Closing ceremony

Six thousand schoolchildren took part in possibly the first ever Olympic closing ceremony.

Participating nations

854 athletes, 848 men and 6 women, from 20 countries, competed at the 1906 Intercalated Games. [1]

Participants of the 1906 Games 1906 Summer Olympic games countries.png
Participants of the 1906 Games

Medals awarded

78 events in 14 disciplines, comprising 12 sports, were part of the 1906 Games.

Medal count

These medals were distributed but are no longer recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

  *   Host nation (Greece)

1Flag of France.svg  France 1591640
2Flag of the United States.svg  United States 126624
3State flag of Greece (1863-1924;1935-73).svg  Greece*8131334
4Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  Great Britain 811524
5Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 76316
6Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland 56415
7Flag of the German Empire.svg  Germany 46515
8Flag of Norway.svg  Norway 4217
9Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy.svg  Austria 3339
10Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark 3216
11Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden 25714
12Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary 25310
13Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium 2136
14 Flag of Russia.svg Finland 2114
15Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svg  Canada 1102
16Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands 0123
17Olympic flag.svg  Mixed team 0101
Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Turkey [lower-alpha 2] 0101
19Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 0033
20Flag of Bohemia.svg  Bohemia 0022
Totals (20 nations)788078236
Source: [1]

The mixed team medal is for Belgian/Greek athletes in the Coxed Pairs 1 mile rowing event. In the football event, the silver medal for the team from Smyrna was won by footballers from various nationalities (English, French and Armenian), while the bronze medal for the team from Thessalonica was won by ethnic Greeks competing for Greece, despite both cities being Ottoman possessions at the time.

The only country that did not win medals—Egypt.

See also


  1. The Grand Duchy of Finland was part of the Russian Empire at the time, but was treated as a separate nation.
  2. 1 2 At the 1908 Olympics, the name "Turkey" was used to refer to the Ottoman Empire.

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  3. What Events are Olympic? Olympics at SportsReference.com. Accessed 7 Sep 2008.
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  5. Hirthler, George (3 September 2019). "Celebrating Pierre de Coubertin: the French genius of sport who founded the modern Olympic Games - Olympic News". International Olympic Committee. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  6. "Paris 1900: Games at the centre of the world". International Olympic Committee. 13 September 2017. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  7. Koulouri, Christina (2005). "The Inside View of an Outsider: Greek Scholarship on the History of the Olympic Games". Journal of Sport History. 32 (2): 217–228. ISSN   0094-1700. JSTOR   43610398.
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Further reading