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The Modern Olympics

1900 -- Paris, France
1330 athletes, 22 nations

Paris was chosen as the host for the second Games in honour of Coubertin. The Games, however, were run in conjunction with the World's Fair and many French organizers saw them as a distraction. The organizers spent little time planning or promoting the Games and not a single Paris newspaper mentioned the word "Olympics" that summer.

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It is said that some athletes weren't even aware that they competed in the Games. For example, Peggy Abbott and her mother were vacationing in Paris during the summer of 1900 when they saw an ad for an international golf tournament and decided to enter. Peggy won the contest and her mother finished seventh. The tournament turned out to be an Olympic event!

What Coubertin had hoped would be a magnificent sports celebration in his hometown instead turned into an embarrassing and unwanted sideshow.

Canadian Highlights: Canada did not send an Olympic team to the Paris Games. But George Orton, the first Canadian to compete at the Games, won a gold medal in the 2500m steeplechase. Orton was a student at the University of Pennsylvania and he traveled to the Olympics with the American team. The win was credited to the United Sates.

Medal Count: Gold 0, Silver 0, Bronze 0

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