Year 1896 in Sports History

Events in Sport

  • Mar 22 Charilaos Vasilakos of Greece wins 1st modern marathon in 3:18 at the Panhellenic Games
  • Apr 6 First modern Summer Olympic Games open in Athens, Greece; American athlete James Connolly becomes first modern Olympic champion when he wins triple jump (then 2 hops and a jump); later 3rd in long jump, 2nd in high jump
  • Apr 10 Spyridon Louis of Greece wins inaugural Olympic marathon (2:58:50) in Athens; runs last lap accompanied by Constantine I
  • Apr 15 1st modern Summer Olympic Games close in Athens, Greece; USA wins gold medal count, 11; Greece wins total medal count, 46; IOC has retroactively assigned gold, silver & bronze medals to 3 best placed athletes in each event
  • Sep 7 A. H. Whiting wins the 1st automobile race held on a closed-circuit track in Cranston, Rhode Island
  • More Events in Sport

Sports Stars Who Died in 1896

  • Feb 12 Isaac Murphy, American jockey, 628 wins on 1,412 mounts (44.5%), dies at 35
  • Sep 2 Nat Thomson, Australian cricket all-rounder (2 Tests, 1st batsman dismissed in first Test match 1877), dies at 57
  • Sep 24 Percy McDonnell, Australian cricket batsman (19 Tests, 3 x 100s), dies of cardiac failure at 35
  • Dec 31 Leland Hone, Irish cricket wicketkeeper (1 Test; first Irishman to represent England; MCC), dies at 43