Archives and History

of the Hellenic Olympic Committee

This publication is meant to make known the richness of the Archives of the HOC, which were classified under the direction of Professor Christina Koulouri. An exceptionally analytic database was designed especially for the HOC archives in accordance with its particular needs and the research potential. This database is user-friendly and allows the researcher to pursue many lines of research, as well as the printing of catalogues of every type - thematic, chronological, etc. - in a rough form. For the period 1894-1936, the computer entry was carried out by document, while for the period 1937-1972 by folder.

The HOC archives highlight the history of the Committee itself, as the oldest central athletic institution in Greece, on the one hand, and the history of Greek sport in general in combination with the political, social, economic and cultural changes that took place in Greece during the 20th century, on the other. The fact that the HOC was in charge of and managed the main sports grounds in the region of the capital (Panathenean Stadium, Velodrome and the Rifle Range at Kallithea) for many years strengthened the role it played in the organisation of sports events. At the same time, the holding of the Olympic Games every four years bestowed on the HOC an international role that other sports institutions did not have, like SEGAS (Union of Greek Gymnastic and Sports Clubs) and various sports federations, at least during the first half of the 20th century.

The quantity and variety of subject matter contained in the Archives - and which go beyond the boundaries of the history of sport - cannot of course be reflected in a publication whose purpose is merely to try and make known an archival collection and shed light on the research avenues it offers. However, instead of the printing of a catalogue of themes that has been recorded during the indexing of documents, folders and boxes, the present publication uses the archives to selectively present some historical themes of the HOC and Greek sport. Consequently, the texts contained in this volume are short studies that combine the primary archival material with the existing bibliography without attempting to offer a complete and exhaustive presentation of themes.

The choice of subjects was dictated by the desire to highlight the Greek side of the history of the Olympic Games, according to the availability of the Archives. That does not mean, however, that the approach is entirely Greco-centric. The aim was to gain deeper insight into the connections between Greece and the general history of the Olympic Games and the spread of the specific weight of 'Greekness' in the institutionalisation of the modern international Olympics - beginning with the revival and ending with the torch relay. For various reasons, therefore, it was decided to include a presentation of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens (1896), the Intermediate Olympics of 1906, the Balkan Games, the International Classical Games of 1934, the torch relay,