1924 Paris, France

The 1924 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the VIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1924 in Paris, France. The home city of Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern games, was selected over bids of Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, and Rome, though Paris had also hosted the 1900 Games.

The cost of the Games of the VIII Olympiad was estimated to be 10,000,000₣. With total receipts at 5,496,610₣, the Olympics resulted in a hefty loss despite crowds that reached 60,000 people at a time.

Highlights of the Paris Olympics

ñThe opening ceremony and several sporting events took place in the Olympic Stadium of Colombes which had a capacity of 45,000 in 1924.

ñThis VIII Olympiad was the last one organised under the presidency of Pierre de Coubertin.

ñThe “Flying Finns” dominated the long distance running, whilst the British and Americans dominated the shorter events. Paavo Nurmi won the 1500 m and 5000 m (which were held with only an hour between them) and the cross country run. Ville Ritola won the 10000 m and the 3000 msteeplechase, while finishing second to Nurmi on the 5000 m and cross country. Albin Stenroos won the marathon, while the Finnish team (with Nurmi and Ritola) was victorious in the 3000 m and cross country team events.

ñBritish runners Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell won the 100 m and 400 m events, respectively. Their stories are depicted in the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire. In addition Douglas Lowe won the 800 m competition.

ñThe marathon distance was fixed at 42.195 km (26.219 mi), from the distance run at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London.

ñThe 1924 Olympics were the first to use the standard 50 m pool with marked lanes.

ñSwimmer Johnny Weissmuller won three gold medals in swimming and one bronze in water polo.

ñHarold Osborn won gold medals and set Olympic records in both the high jump and the decathlon at the 1924 Olympics. His 6′ 6″ high jump remained the Olympic record for 12 years, while his decathlon score of 7,710.775 points also set a new world record, and resulted in worldwide press coverage calling him the “world’s greatest athlete.”

ñFencer Roger Ducret of France won five medals, of which three were gold.

ñIn gymnastics 24 men score a perfect 10. Twenty-three of them scored it in the now discontinued event of rope climbing. Albert Seguin scored a 10 here and also a perfect 10 on side vault.

ñThe Olympic motto Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) was used for the first time. This was originally used as a motto by the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques, a French sporting federation whose founding members included Pierre de Coubertin.

ñIreland was given formal recognition as an independent nation in the Olympic Movement in Paris in 1924 and it was at these games that Ireland made its first appearance in an Olympic Games as an independent nation.

ñOriginally called Semaine des Sports d’Hiver (“Week of Winter Sports”) and held in association with the 1924 Summer Olympics, the sports competitions held in Chamonix between 25 January and 5 February 1924 were later designated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the I Olympic Winter Games. (1924 Winter Olympics)

ñThese were the first Games to feature an Olympic Village.

ñThe Art competitions at the 1924 Summer Olympics were the first time that the Olympic Art competitions were contested seriously with 193 entries in five categories. A total of 14 medals were awarded, though none were given in the music category

A total of 44 nations were represented at the 1924 Games. Germany was still absent, having not been invited by the Organizing Committee.

Ecuador, Haiti, Ireland, Lithuania,the Philippines,Mexico and Uruguay attended the Olympic Games for the first time. Latvia and Poland attended the Summer Olympic Games for the first time (having both appeared earlier at the 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix).