One man creates the modern Olympics

Evangelos Zappas (1800-1865) was an extremely wealthy Greek businessman, who had the vision of re-creating the ancient Olympic games. Against all odds -and a very reluctant Greek government- he singlehandedly financed and organized Olympic games of 1859, 1870, 1875, and 1888.

Today, these Olympic games are not seen as “official” games, since the International Olympic Committee was only established in 1894. However, the first official Olympic games of 1896 were also sponsored by Zappas 31 years after his death. Wanting his dream to live on, he created a trust fund to be used after his death.

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Unknown author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons