Egypt goes olympic: 1914 to 1932

  • Christian Wacker
Keywords: Egyptian Olympic Committee, Angelo Bolanachi, Omar Toussoun Pasha, Olympic Movement, African Games, Mediterranean Games.

Abstract

The development of sport and especially sport organisations like the “Fédération Sportive d’Egypte” from 1910 was inspired by the way these had been established in Europe. These models were brought to Egypt by immigrants from Italy and Greece. Angelo C. Bolanachi was one such individual. Born of Greek descent in Alexandria, he established Olympic style sport structures in his country. He was nominated a member of the International Olympic Committee IOC in 1910, founded the Egyptian Olympic Committee EOC in 1914, becoming its first Secretary-General and planning for an African Games in 1929. Between the poles of ethnical emancipation on one side and colonial influence in Egypt of the early 20th Century on the other, disputes amongst officials about the role of so-called immigrants might have been anticipated. The first African Games had been planned by Bolanachi with the support of the IOC and nevertheless cancelled two months before they were due to take place at the urging of anti-colonial movements in Africa and supported by the Egyptian authorities. Three years later in 1932, Bolanachi renounced his IOC membership for Egypt and was effectively ousted as EOC General Secretary by the Egyptian federations.

Keywords: Egyptian Olympic Committee; Angelo Bolanachi; Omar Toussoun Pasha; Olympic Movement; African Games; Mediterranean Games.

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print ISSN: 0379-9069