Birthplace of the Olympics, it is therefore the blue and white Greek flag that is the first to enter the Olympic stadium during the opening ceremony of the games. The Greeks tried to revive the games well before Coubertin, in the middle of the 19th century, but without success. But it was a Greek, Demetrius Vikelas, who became the first Chairman of the Olympic Committee and his job was to organize the first Modern games in Athens in 1896. Since that time Greece has not had the same influence in the modern Olympic movement. Athens weighed little when compared with its American rival for the 1996 games, Atlanta. Greek sportsmen and women have had difficulty over the last few decades in making a name for themselves in world class sports events, with the notable exception of weightlifter Dimas, who won gold medals in Barcelona and Atlanta. However, the Olympic committee has decided that in recognition for its contribution to the ideals of the movement, Athens should be awarded the organization of the games in 2004.