Held in Paris, the 1900 Olympic Games were truly groundbreaking: for the first and only time, these took place against the backdrop of another
major event, the World’s Fair. The idea came from the IOC, who wanted to make
this Olympiad one to be remembered.
Despite its outstanding sporting quality and commendable concept, the Games were
unfortunately at times drowned out by the Fair’s hullabaloo.
These were novel Games for more than one reason. Set in a never-before-seen environment, they were also the first to welcome
women as participants. Out of the nearly 1 000 competing athletes, 22 were women.
Even the most disbelieving recognised they had undeniable sporting abilities.
Paris 1900 also offered the opportunity for many recreational
athletes to display their talents in specialities that were original, to say
the least: balloon racing and line fishing were amongst the unusual demonstration sports,
still attracted an intrigued audience.
Although there were neither opening nor closing ceremonies, dozens of official
ceremonies were held throughout the Games.