The first All-Africa Games
were played from July 18, 1965 to July 25, 1965 in Brazzaville
The first games
to open to the entire African continent occurred a full forty years after they were first intended. Pierre de Coubertin
, had proposed the first African Games
be held in Algiers
in 1925. The games were never organized. Four years later, Alexandria
had almost completed preparations for the African Games
of 1929 when the colonial powers stepped in to cancel the games, weeks before they were to begin. The colonizers felt the games might serve to unite Africa, and help them break free from their colonial status. The idea of a continental games languished for a time until regional games in West Africa the early sixties paved the way for the first continental games to be held in July 1965.
Foreshadowing what was to become accepted protocol at major international games, and reflecting the continents relative political instability, the Congo-Brazzaville Army was on high alert throughout the games for "malcontents" and "counter-revolutionaries". All highways in and out of Brazzaville were patrolled by armored vehicles and all cars within the city, except for games participants and journalists, were stopped and inspected at major checkpoints.
2500 athletes from 29 nations marched in to the stadium. Avery Brundage
, the IOC president attended the games as the IOC's chief observer.
The games success was due in a large part to the emerging... Read More