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The Modern Olympics

1924 -- Paris, France
3,092 athletes, 44 nations

The Olympics returned to Paris in 1924. They were well attended and scalpers sold tickets to Olympic events for the first time. The most famous story from these Games was retold in the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire. It is the story of two sprinters, Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell. Abrahams, who was Jewish, wanted to become the first European winner of the 100m sprint.

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Liddell, a devout Christian, was the Commonwealth record-holder in the 100-yard dash and the only runner capable of beating Abrahams. But Liddell refused to run on Sundays and when the 100m heats were held on a Sunday Liddell visited a church in Paris instead of competing. Abrahams won the 100m event in 10.6 seconds. Liddell competed in and won the 400m run and placed third in the 200m. Neither events were held on a Sunday.

Another Olympic hero at the Games was Paavo Nurmi from Finland. Nurmi won five gold medals, including one in the 5000m and one in the 1500m. He ran the races less than two hours apart on the same day.

Canadian Highlights: The Canadian team was relatively unsuccessful at these games. For the first time a Canada did not win a track and field medal. The Canadian team brought home medals in rowing, shooting and boxing

Medal Count: Gold 0, Silver 3, Bronze 1

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