Today in History, March 6: 1896 – The first modern Olympics are held in Athens, Greece. The ancient Olympic games were held in Olympia (thus Olympics) Greece for hundreds of years. When the 1896 games were held, one of the first events was a run to retrace the route a Greek soldier had taken from Marathon to Athens in 490 B. C., bringing news that the invading Persians had been defeated (Thus the term Marathon). In 1896 there were 280 participants (some of them passing tourists); in the most recent Olympics, approximately 11,000 athletes were involved. As an aside…the athletes in the ancient Olympics were reputedly all nude. I imagine that would affect the number of viewers….