Page 42 - Summer2016Gazette
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40                   Feature                                         Feature
        Continued               The Intercalated Games

        He continued racing                             and last of these was held in
        professionally in his native   Mention having been made of   1906 and was subsequently
        country and abroad for two   an unofficial Olympic Games   renamed the ‘Intercalated’
        more years and earned over   held in 1906 it is worth   Games.
        200, 000 lira, a considerable   mentioning what this was.   The 1906 games would in
        sum in those days. He ran   The Olympic Games are held   hindsight be considered to be
        his final marathon in Buenos   every four years in a leap year   far better than the 1900, 1904
        Aires, on 24 May 1910, where   but in the early years of the   and 1908 Games that were all
        he achieved his personal   modern era it was envisaged   spread over several months
        best of 2 hours 38minute   that they should take place   and linked to an International
        48:2seconds. His final race   every two years. Baron Pierre   Exhibition. By contrast the
        was in Sweden and he then   De Coubertin, the founder of   format in 1906 was crisp and
        retired from Running in 1911   the modern games, apparently   took just 10 days. For the
        at the age of 26          wanted the first Olympics   first time teams paraded at an
        The anti climax           to be in Paris but as is well   Opening Ceremony and also,
        Pietri embarked upon a new   known, they were first held in   for the first time, flags were
                                                        flown at medal presentations.
        career as an entrepreneur   Athens in 1896.     Other firsts were the Olympic
        and invested his earnings                       Village and march past during
        in a hotel which he opened   That city wanted to be   the parade. Although the
        in collaboration with his   the permanent host of   status of the intermediate
        brother. He was not as   the Olympics, and having   games was eventually
        successful an entrepreneur as   successfully staged the games   downgraded it has been
        he was athlete, and the hotel   in 1896 they considered   accepted that because of the
        went bankrupt. He moved to   that, after the disappointing   success of those games, the
        Sanremo, where he directed a   hosting of the second   Olympic movement was kept
        car workshop. Pietri lived in   Olympiad by Paris in 1900,   going at a time when it could
        Sanremo until his death, of a   they should retain the   have easily been abandoned
        heart attack, at the age of 56   honour. As a compromise it   and discontinued. Many of
        It was a ignominious end to   was agreed in 1901 that in   the innovations introduced in
        a life of significant athletic   the intervening years Athens   Athens in 1906 were adopted
        achievement. Fortunately   should host an intermediate   into the official games.
        for those who love stories   Olympics Games and so in   Unfortunately the
        of unlikely heroes, such   1906 an Olympiad was staged   intermediate Olympics had a
        achievements have not been   there.             short lifespan. There was no
        forgotten.              At the time, the 1906 Games   event in 1910 due to problems
                                were approved by the IOC but   in the Balkans and when the
                    Hugh Stanbury  they are not now considered   outbreak of the First World
                                to be part of ‘official’   War intervened the concept
                                Olympic history. They had   went into abeyance.
                                200 more competitors than
                                St Louis in 1904 from 8 more        Hugh Stanbury
                                competing Nations. The first
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