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Olympics 1896 - Athens, Greece
No. of countries: 14
No. of athletes: 255 - only men
No. of events: 43


The marathon was run between the city of Marathon and Athens, following the route of Pheidippides, a runner who was believed to have been sent from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of an invading army in 490 BC. The race was won by the Greek Spyridon Louis. Events were open to anyone and several entrants were tourists who had unexpectedly stumbled upon the Games. The track-and-field events were held at a stadium built in 330 BC. Its track had an unusually elongated shape with such sharp turns that runners were forced to slow down considerably in order to stay in their lanes.

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