A HISTORY OF THE SUMMER GAMES FROM ATHENS TO ATLANTA

The greatest champion in Olympic history won no medals. Baron Pierre de Coubertin wasn't even much of an athlete. But were it not for the diminutive French nobleman, we might not know the names of Jim Thorpe, Babe Didrikson, Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Mark Spitz, Nadia Comaneci, Jackie Joyner-Kersee...

Coubertin was only 29 years old when he proposed the revival of the classical Olympic Games, which had been dead for 15 centuries. A man of erudition, zeal and diplomacy, Coubertin rallied sportsmen from around the world and persuaded the Greek government to play host to the first of what he hoped...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!