The Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir, named in memory of French rugby player Yves du Manoir in 1928, was the main stadium for the 1924 Summer Olympics and had a capacity of 45,000 at the time. The stadium, known simply as Colombes, was also the venue for the 1938 World Cup Final between Italy and Hungary.
Colombes hosted a number of French Cup finals and home games of the French national football and rugby teams into the 1970s. It remained the country’s largest stadium until the renovated Parc des Princes was inaugurated in 1972. By that time, the stadium’s capacity had dropped to under 50,000 due to more stringent safety regulations. The national rugby team played its last game at Colombes in 1972, and the national football team last played there in 1975.
During the 1924 games, it hosted the athletics, some of the cycling, some of the equestrian events, gymnastics, tennis, some of the football, rugby, and two of the modern pentathlon events – running and fencing. The stadium also hosted the opening ceremony. The VIII Olympiad was the last one organised under the presidency of Pierre de Coubertin.
The Olympic motto: ‘Citius, Altius, Fortius’, (Faster, Higher, Stronger) was used for the first time in 1924. It was originally used as a motto by the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques, a French sporting federation whose founding members included Pierre de Coubertin. These were also the first games to feature an Olympic Village.
Ireland was given formal recognition as an independent nation in the Olympic Movement in Paris in 1924 and it was at these games that Ireland made its first appearance in an Olympic Games as an independent nation.
British runners Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell won the 100 m and 400 m events, respectively. Their stories are depicted in the 1981 film ‘Chariots of Fire’. In addition Douglas Lowe won the 800 m competition.
The 1924 Olympics were the first to use the standard 50 m pool with marked lanes. Swimmer Johnny Weissmuller won three gold medals in swimming and one bronze in water polo.
In gymnastics 24 men scored a perfect 10. Twenty-three of them scored it in the now discontinued event of rope climbing. Albert Seguin scored a 10 here and also a perfect 10 on side vault.