1906 Intercalated Games


Competition type Intercalated Games
Host city Athina, Greece (Venues)
Opening ceremony 22 April
Closing ceremony 2 May
Competition dates 22 April – 2 May
OCOG Organizing Committee of the 1906 Games
Participants 841 from 21 countries
Medal events 74 in 14 disciplines


Today, the IOC and a few sports historians do not consider the 1906 Intercalated Olympics to be official Olympic Games, although these Games may have helped save the Olympic Movement. After the debacles of 1900 and 1904, the Olympics were in desperate straits. The Greeks had wanted to host more Olympics and they proposed holding “interim” Olympics, every four years in the even year between the Olympics. The first of these was scheduled in 1906.

The Games of 1906 were not of the calibre of many Olympics of later years. Again, many of the facilities were not of the highest quality. However, as in 1896, the Greeks approached their responsibility with enthusiasm and the most international field to date competed in these Olympics. A true Opening Ceremony was conducted for the first time, with the athletes marching with their teams following a flag bearer from their own country. In the United States, a team was selected for the first time and sent over as a true national team.

The newspapers considered these Games to be the Olympics and labeled them as such. Coubertin, at first opposed to the idea, even embraced them as Olympics when he saw that the Greeks organized the best “Olympics” of the modern era. Pierre de Coubertin did not even attend the 1906 Olympic Games. The IOC did officially recognize these Games initially in some of the correspondence, but in later years their status was initially unclear.

The IOC did make an official ruling concerning the status of the 1906 Olympic Games. At the 43rd Session of the IOC in London in 1948, Dr. Ferenc Mező, Hungarian member, made a proposal that the Intermediate Games in Athens (1906) should be accepted as the IIIb Olympic Games. It was decided that this proposal would be placed in the hands of the Brundage Commission. The Brundage Commission was a three-man commission headed by future IOC President Avery Brundage (USA), with the other members being Sidney Dawes (CAN) and Miguel Moenck (CUB). They met in New Orleans, Louisiana in January 1949.

In their report, the Brundage Commission noted, “It is not considered that any special recognition that the IOC might to participants in these Games at this late date would add any prestige, and the danger of establishing an embarrassing precedent would more than offset any advantage.” They presented their report at the 44th Session in Roma in 1949. Their report dealt with 32 items, the 4th of which was the 1906 Olympic Games. The item was listed as “Acceptance of the Intermediate Games 1906”, and the Brundage Commission conclusion was “Rejected”.

In contradistinction to this IOC position, it appears that the Athina Olympic Games were considered official Olympic Games in 1906. Many sports historians feel that they should maintain the designation as Olympic Games, as they were very important Olympic Games. After the problems that occurred in Paris in 1900 and St. Louis in 1904, with the Olympic Movement reeling, these successful Athina Games of 1906 helped resurrect the flagging Olympic Movement. The Games were the most international to date, they were the best held to date, and they had the most international media attention of any of the Games since the 1896 Olympics in Athina.

The Greek idea of holding these Games between the International Olympic Games was never again realized. After 1906 it was expected that further Intercalated Olympic Games would be celebrated in Athina every four years. They were planned for 1910 and it was assumed they would be held in 1914, 1918, and every four years thereafter, but they were never held again.

The reason lies in the politics of Greece and the Balkan Peninsula. When studying the politics of the Balkan Peninsula and Greece, it is not surprising that the Games were never held again. In fact, it is far more unusual that there was enough peace in the region for Olympic Games to be held there in either 1896 or 1906. The Balkan Wars in the region and the tenuous economic status of the nation at the time prevented the Greeks from ever again holding Intercalated Olympic Games.

Bid process

No host city election took place. These Olympics were organized by the Greeks outside of the usual quadrennial cycle of Olympic Games.


Officially opened by Georgios I, King of Greece (King)
Flagbearers Full list

Medal Disciplines

Artistic Gymnastics Fencing Tennis
Athletics Football Tug-Of-War
Cycling Road Rowing Weightlifting
Cycling Track Shooting Wrestling
Diving Swimming

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
France FRA 15 9 16 40
United States USA 12 6 6 24
Greece GRE 8 14 13 35
Great Britain GBR 8 11 5 24
Italy ITA 7 6 3 16
Germany GER 4 6 5 15
Switzerland SUI 4 3 1 8
Austria AUT 3 3 3 9
Denmark DEN 3 2 1 6
Sweden SWE 2 5 7 14
Hungary HUN 2 5 3 10
Belgium BEL 2 2 3 7
Finland FIN 2 1 1 4
Canada CAN 1 1 0 2
Norway NOR 1 1 0 2
Netherlands NED 0 1 2 3
Australia AUS 0 0 3 3
Bohemia BOH 0 0 2 2

Most successful competitors

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Louis Richardet SUI 3 1 0 4
Max Décugis FRA 3 0 0 3
Francesco Verri ITA 3 0 0 3
Enrico Bruna ITA 3 0 0 3
Giorgio Cesana ITA 3 0 0 3
Emilio Fontanella ITA 3 0 0 3
Martin Sheridan USA 2 3 0 5
Gustav Casmir GER 2 2 0 4
Léon Moreaux FRA 2 1 2 5
Georges, Baron Dillon-Kavanagh FRA 2 1 0 3

All medalists at these Games