Host City: Athina, Greece
Venue(s): Panathenaic Stadium, Athina
Date Started: April 10, 1896
Date Finished: April 10, 1896
Format: Placement based on points given for time and style to climb a 14-meter rope.
The rope climbing event was conducted outdoors on a rope hung from a specially designed frame. It was 14 metres in height. The winner was supposed to be based on who climbed the rope the quickest and with the best style. In the event that nobody was best in both time and style, the competitor with the most total points was the winner. In the event that no competitor reached the top of the rope, the winner was to be the climber achieving the greatest height. Thus, not reaching the top did not necessarily constitute a ‘did not finish.’ Point scores have not survived.
Only the two Greeks, Nikolaos Andriakopoulos and Thomas Xenakis succeeded in climbing all the way to the top, with Andriakopoulos winning the championship based on a faster time, although Xenakis’ time is not recorded. Andriakopoulos was the first to climb, followed by Xenakis, Fritz Hoffmann, Launceston Elliot, and Viggo Jensen, in that order. Hofmann, Elliot, and Jensen stopped climbing when they realized they could not beat the Greek climbers.