Introduction to Olympic Games

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Introduction to Olympics Games

 The modern Olympic Games were founded by Pierre de Coubertin in Athens Greece in 1896. He was inspired by ancient Greek games and believed sports could unify people together. The first modern Olympic Games consisted of only a few sports including athletics (track and field), boxing, fencing, and wrestling. In 1904 and 1908, marathon races were added to the program. By 1912, cycling and shooting had been introduced to the Olympic Games. Since then, track and field have dominated the Olympics program and have become the most popular sport at the games. Today, the Olympics consists of 28 different sports and over 400 events.

What is the Olympics?

The modern day Olympics are a series of world-wide sports competitions between athletes who represent their countries. In ancient times, the Ancient Olympic Games were held in Olympia Greece and were held approximately once every four years for over 2000 years. These games involved athletic contesting of events like wrestling, boxing, running, jumping, throwing, etc., and were open to both men and women. Today’s Summer Olympics involve around 1000 sport contests, including track & field, swimming, basketball, gymnastics, football, tennis, baseball, softball, golf, soccer, volleyball, rugby, cricket, badminton, weightlifting, ice skating, skiing, equestrian, diving, archery, sailing, cycling, rowing, taekwondo, judo, table tennis, shooting, synchronized swimming, fencing, wrestling, boxing, canoeing, hockey, mountain biking, road racing, BMX, cross country, artistic dance, martial arts, climbing, triathlon, track cycling, para-cycling, horse riding, canoe polo, windsurfing, squash, surfing, skateboarding, paragliding, karate, roller derby, snowsports, billiards, darts, chess, bowls, and many others. There are also several non-Olympic sports events, including the Paralympic Games, FINA World Aquatics Championships, Chess Olympiad, and Paraolympics.

Image by Gerhard from Pixabay 

How did the modern Olympics begin?

At the first Modern Olympic Games in Athens 1896, the International Olympic Committee was founded to oversee future games. Many early ideas of how to run the games came from Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern youth movement “the Scout Movement”. He believed that a sporting competition should be organized by volunteers and they would have to be motivated by the spirit of fair play. De Coubertin argued that the purpose of the Olympics was to promote friendly rivalry between nations. The idea of amateurism was introduced to inspire athletes to compete because of love of sport rather than financial reward. De Coubertin created the motto that inspired the modern Olympic Games: “Faster (f├ęcond), Higher (plus haute) and Stronger (plus fort).

Who won the first Olympic Games?

The first official Olympic Games were held in Athens Greece in 1896. The winner was Great Britain with a total of 26 points. France was second with 24 points. Italy placed third with 21 points. Germany came in fourth with 19 points. Belgium placed last with only 4 points.

When were the first Olympic Games held?

The first official modern Olympic Games were held in the year 1896 at Athens Greece.

Why didn't the original Olympics end after 1900?

The Olympics ended in 1900 because of two reasons. The first was that some of the participating countries refused to send any representatives because the games had been banned due to the fact that a few countries had sent soldiers to fight for the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan Wars in 1912-13. Other countries sent teams, but not enough to make a full team. The second reason was that the International Olympic Committee decided to cancel the games because the war had taken its toll.

Which nation won the first Summer Olympic Games?

Germany won the first Summer Olympic games in 1936.

At what time period does the Winter Games occur?

The winter Olympic Games was started in 1924 in Chamonix Mont Blanc France.

Different Types of Olympic Games

There are two types of Olympic; Ancient Olympics and Modern Olympics

(1) Ancient Olympics (700-450 BC)

The Ancient Greek word olympiada literally means “games”, while its Latin counterpart was ludus. The games were held annually at Olympia in Greece, where they were celebrated for over 2,400 years. Over time, however, the games became increasingly popular and influential throughout the ancient world. Eventually, the Olympic Games grew into a cultural phenomenon that spread across Europe and Rome. Its influence reached even further than Greece, with the Romans using the term “Olimpic” for the whole event.

(2) Modern Olympics (1896 - Till Now)

After centuries upon centuries of popularity, the modern Olympic Games began in Athens, Greece in 1896. Two years later, after much debate about how to organize the event, the International Olympic Committee was founded. Since then, The IOC has organized the summer and winter games every four years. The organization also manages several other international sports competitions, including the World Cup, Pan Am Games, Paralympics, and the Youth Olympic Games.

Image by Thomas Ulrich from Pixabay 

Olympic Sports

There are many different types of sports that have been included in the Olympic Games since their beginning. Most notably, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games today feature eleven sports divided into three categories: track, field, and swimming/diving. Each sport consists of a number of events, where each athlete competes against others who participate in the same event.

Summer Olympics

In 1908, the first modern Olympic Games took place in London, England. The event featured thirty-three separate competitions between athletes from twelve countries. The host city won six gold medals, eight silver medals, and five bronze medals. The United States won the highest number of total medals, with nine.

Inauguration Ceremony

During the Inauguration Ceremony, the president of the United States officially recognizes the host country for the upcoming Olympic Games. As soon as the flag is raised above the podium, the national anthem begins playing. Afterward, the president walks onto the stage and gives a short speech before declaring the games open. It takes place immediately prior to the opening ceremony.

Opening Ceremony

At the start of the opening ceremony, the Olympic Flame is lit. A torchbearer carries the flame, starting its journey around the stadium. Once the flame arrives at the center of the stadium, the lighting of the cauldron occurs. The cauldron is then set ablaze, and the entire stadium bursts into flames. Afterward, the flag bearer passes the flag off to the gymnastics team. The team then executes a perfect performance in front of the crowd. Afterwards, the Olympic anthem is played, and the parade begins. All of the participating teams line up on stage, and the flag of the respective country is passed off to them along with the Olympic Torch.

Parade of Nations

Just after the end of the opening ceremonies, the Olympic flag bearer gives the flag off to the host nation. Next, the Olympic Anthem is sung, and the parade of nations begins. Usually the first forty-five minutes of the parade are dedicated to the host country, and the rest of the parade is devoted to the individual nations competing at the games.

Closing Ceremony

Once the closing ceremonies have ended, the Olympic Flag is taken down, and the stadium lights go out. At this point, a fireworks display erupts over the stadium. Finally, the stadium goes dark, and the Olympic Anthem is once again sung. Then the parade ends with the host country leading the way.

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