Demetrius Vikelas


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The Greek first president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), holding the position because early IOC rules specified the president should be a representative of the country at which the forthcoming Games was to be held. Vikelas was a general educationalist with no specific sporting background, though he attended de Coubertin's 1894 Congress in Paris as a representative of the Pan-Hellenic Gymnastics Club. After the 1896 inaugural event, de Coubertin became president and the revolving principle was abolished. Early IOC minutes are written in Vikelas's meticulous longhand, a testimony to the small-scale origins of what was to become an extraordinary global and modern phenomenon.

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