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The First Olympics: Athens 1896 (TV Mini-Series 1984) Poster

(1984 TV Mini-Series)

Goofs

Jump to: Anachronisms (1) | Continuity (1) | Factual errors (6) | Plot holes (1)

Anachronisms 

When the Greek musicians are being advised by the American naval officer on a possible national anthem to play, the naval officer plays 'The Star Spangled Banner', but claims it has no lyrics. In fact it did, and was in use by the U.S. Navy at least by 1889. Also, the naval officer hands sheet music to one of the Greeks, and it clearly has lyrics printed on it.
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Continuity 

When John Conolly is late for the train to Brindisi, he is stopped at the gate while carrying a paper bag. When he prepares to jump the gate, the bag disappears.
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Factual errors 

In the series, James Connolly is told by Coach Graham and the Dean of students at Harvard that he and Arthur Blake will be volunteering for the new U.S. Olympic Team as punishment for fighting with each other. In reality, Connolly was denied a leave of absence to compete in the Games. So, he dropped out and competed anyway.
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In the series, it is mentioned that Edwin Flack was interrupting his studies at Oxford to compete in the Games. In reality, he was taking a month's holiday from his job at the accounting firm of Price, Waterhouse, and Company.
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When athletes first competed in the Olympics, they only represented their clubs or their schools. They did not start participating on national teams or marching in a Parade of Nations until the London Games of 1908.
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The series portrays Robert Garrett as being a participant in the Marathon - he wasn't. Arthur Blake was the only American entrant in the event. He did not finish.
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In an incident similar to the one with an over sized discus, Robert Garrett is seen trying to enter the Olympic Shot Put event with an over sized shot put. In reality, however, unlike the incident with the discus, which is very well documented, there is no record of a similar incident with the shot put ever having taken place.
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James Connolly is portrayed as having emigrated to America from Ireland. That is not the case. He was born in Boston in 1868.
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Plot holes 

In the series, three Greek flags are raised after the finish of the Marathon. However, it is not mentioned that the third Greek finisher, Spiridon Belokas was disqualified for riding part of the way in a carriage. His spot was awarded to Gyula Kellner of Hungary.
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