Appearance of the Olympic Idea in Civil Gymnastic and other Sporting Societies and Clubs in Serbia

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The idea of revival of the Olympic Games appeared much before its realization, but creation of the possibilities to reintroduce the Games was closely related to development of modern sport. The first mentioning and proposals originated from the works of the Humanists in 15th and 16th century and in the thirties of the 19th century some practical attempts were made for their revival.

The aim of the paper was to determine the time when the first ideas on Olympism appeared in Serbia in civil gymnastic and other sporting societies and clubs. Historical method was used in the paper

For a long period Serbia was cherishing and developing traditional forms of competitions and tournaments but organized forms of physical exercises of citizens appeared only in the mid-19th century when the first private schools for physical exercises were established in many towns of the Principality of Serbia. Therefore, these private schools and the civil gymnastic societies were places where modern sport and the Olympic ideal were gladly accepted and further developed. Thus, it is understandable why, at the time of realization of the idea on revival of Ancient Olympic Games, those societies and clubs used the expression: Olympic competitions for their sporting events, besides they already used names: popular festivals or chivalry competitive plays.

In the mid-19th century the Olympic idea took roots also in the Principality and later in the Kingdom of Serbia. Namely, before the revival of the Olympic Games in Athens and before the term „Olympic“ became more significant in reporting from sporting events, the competitions in Serbia had been announced as „Olympic festivities“ although they were not directly linked to the aforementioned Games in Greece.

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