Sporting Columnist Who Wrote The Old Man And The Boy The Swedish Olympic Games Revivals of 1834, 1836 and 1843

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The Swedish Olympic Games Revivals of 1834, 1836 and 1843

Pierre de Coubertin was not the first person to revive the old Olympic Games. This idea was born long ago in the Renaissance period, with its interest in the ancient world. Thus the first Cotswold ‘Olympic Games’ have been held every year in England since the early 17th century, with the exception of the Cromwellian era, and there were many similar events in other countries before the modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896.

The Olympic Association, which was formed in the south of Sweden, organized its Games at the arena in Ramlösa (Helsingborg) in 1834, with four consecutive events that included horse jumping and pole vaulting, as well as running different distances. They all happened on the same summer day in July.

The first event was a type of gymnastics competition, in which there were seven contestants. He won by a student from the old university of Lund. He was not given a laurel wreath, but a golden ring. This was followed by a race in which the blacksmith’s apprentice finished ahead of nineteen other runners, receiving the same prize, while the winner of the wrestling competition, in which seven men participated, was given a silver jar.

Competitors in the final event had to climb a slippery tree about 10m (33 ft) high, with a silver cup going to the first person to make it down from the top. When this was in favor of the first experimenter, lots were drawn to decide the order. However, the hearts of the crowd went not to the winner, but to the little boy who later flashed the soap antenna too much, and made him a donation.

The mastermind behind the Helsingborg Games was Gustaf Johan Scharteau, an expert in gymnastics and fencing at Lund University. He originally wanted to hold the Games every year, but waited until 1836 before trying again. The event was similar, adding a writing competition in which the entrants had to compare the ancient Olympics with the intermediate games and the benefits of reviving martial arts.

Scharteau later turned to Stockholm, where a similar Olympic event was planned to be held in 1843 in an open space called Gärdet. Unfortunately, they failed miserably, not because of a lack of public support, but the opposite. They were very popular! More people came than the officials expected or could handle. Tickets had been sold, but there were thousands of gate breakers and it all ended in chaos. Also, the winner of the slippery mast-climbing event had just received his prize when he was robbed by one of the spectators, when a new event was added to the schedule, chasing the culprit, who appeared. being a 14-year-old boy.

Scharteau did not attempt his Olympics again and sixty-nine years passed before Stockholm became the host city for the Olympic Games again. However, this time, they were much bigger and had more success.

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