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UMass Amherst Collections

Between the 22nd of June and the 6th of July 1919, the Inter-Allied Games were held in Paris, France, in a stadium built in the Bois de Vincennes especially for the purpose in 3 months by U.S. troops. Billed as the “Military Olympics” of 1919, the games featured the participation of soldier-athletes from 16 countries in 76 different events across a dozen familiar sports, along with such “warlike” events as “throwing the grenade” and “tug of war.” The games were designed in great part to provide a constructive way to channel the energy of the millions of Allied soldiers who were awaiting demobilization in Europe after the war ended. Although described as an “Olympics”, the Inter-Allied Games had nothing to do with the International Olympic Committee, and were in fact organized by the American Expeditionary Forces under General John J. Pershing and financed by the Y.M.C.A