March 26th 1896: 2nd day of the events
This event was conducted at Zappeion. A specially constructed platform was placed in the center of the Hall and the spectators sat in a circle around the platform.
The event was set to begin at 10.00 p.m. The royal family arrived at the set time and was welcomed by the crowd at the Propylaea. The athletes were presented in pairs wearing visors with the point of their swords covered. The winner, Leon Pyrgos, became the first Greek Olympic winner of the games.
The athletic contests began at 2.30 p.m. at the Stadium.
In order to reach the finishing line, the athletes had to jump over the wooden hurdles that were densely placed on the track. The eight contestants were divided in two groups.
Only eight of the eighteen athletes that had entered for the event eventually took part in the event. Ellery Clark, from Boston, USA, was the winner with a jump of 6,35m.
400m. race (final)
The race was conducted among the winners of the preliminary race. Thomas Burke, from the USA, was the winner with 54´´ while his compatriot Herbert Jameson came in second. The American spectators were excited with these successive victories.
A particularly popular event in Greece, the sphere excited the spectators. Once again, it was an American, Robert Garrett who was the winner causing great enthusiasm to the Americans. Miltiades Grouskos from Greece came in second.
The event took place in an arena, on sand-covered ground. Viggo Jensen, an athlete from Denmark, was the winner of "weightlifting with both hands" whereas Launceston Elliot, the athlete from England, was the winner of "weightlifting with one hand".
Edwin Flack, an Australian athlete, was the winner of the day's final event in which eight athletes participated.
At night, the Acropolis was illuminated according to schedule. Torches of all colors lighted the "Sacred Rock" stressing the link between the Modern Olympic Games and the ancient past of Greece.