The Early Olympiads
DOI link for The Early Olympiads
The Early Olympiads book
Political identification led to state teams, and soon no athlete could compete as an individual, or appear in Olympic events out of national uniform. Nationalities which found themselves without states recognized the political implications of Olympic membership and sought it as a public demonstration of political legitimacy. The 1896 Olympics were primarily used as a tool for national unity by a dynasty under domestic pressure. The Germans carried over resentment at their shabby treatment at the founding Olympic congress to the first Olympic Games. National counting systems were never "legal" in the Olympic system, but were a natural reflection of modern political sport. The International Olympic Committee was thus receptive to Greek appeals that Olympic officials reconsider their idea for an inter-Olympic sport meet. The 1912 Stockholm Olympics went even farther in the direction, advertising the usual political problems through the most extensive press coverage of the early Games.