Meet The Very First “Team USA” From The 1896 Olympics

The Boston Athletic Association

Photo: Boston Athletic Association

The U.S. contingent mostly hailed from the Boston Athletic Association or Princeton, and according to the Team USA website, “most wore their college uniforms rather than the red, white and blue.”

Not everyone in the American media thought it was a worthwhile journey. The New York Times stated, “The American amateur sportsman in general should know that in going to Athens he is taking an expensive journey to a third rate capital where he will be devoured by fleas.” 

Nevertheless, the 14 participants traveled by boat and train over 17 days. They arrived the day before the games started.