Mile-013 William Penny Brookes - Olympic Champion

Run World Radio & A Mile With Me show

Summary: William Penny Brookes has been widely recognised as the founding father of the modern Olympic Games, but surprisingly not that many people are aware of him or his remarkable life. Born in Much Wenlock in Shropshire, England in 1806 he was a local doctor, played a major part in bringing the railway to town and also introduced both a reading and an Olympian class into his newly created library. In 1850 he set up his first Olympian Games and 40 years later a visit to those very games by the French aristocrat Baron Pierre Coubertin was destined to change both their destinies. The Baron stayed at Brookes's house for several weeks and inspired by what he had seen Courbertin went on to launch the modern Olympic movement in 1894. In 1994 the President of the IOC visited Much Wenlock to celebrate a century of the modern Olympic movement and in a moving speech said "I came to pay homage to Dr Brookes, who really was the founder of the modern Olympic Games" Find out more about his extraordinary life and the Much Wenlock Olympian Games as I chat with Helen Cromarty, historian of the Wenlock Olympian Society on Mile 13 of the "A Mile With Me" podcast. To find out more visit Standard Podcasts