THE HISTORY OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES
The Olympic Games are unique. Athletes from the entire world take part. Their achievements are watched from both near and far by hundreds of millions of spectators. The five rings on the Olympic flag represent the international nature of the Games. What makes the Olympic Games different from other sports events? The Games are held every four years. They are the largest sporting celebration in the number of sports on the programme, the number of athletes present and the number of people from different nations gathered together at the same time in the same place. The Games are held at intervals, but are part of a broader framework which is that of the Olympic Movement. The purpose of the Olympic Movement is to promote the practice of sport all over the world and disseminate the Olympic values. It is in this spirit that the Olympic Games are held and celebrated.
It was Pierre de Coubertin of France who dreamt up this ambitious project, although others before him had tried in vain to revive these Games. Drawing inspiration from the ancient Olympic Games, he decided to create the modern Olympic Games. With this purpose, he founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894 in Paris. The new committee set itself the objective of organising the first Olympic Games of modern times. The date of the first Games, 1896, marked the beginning of an extraordinary adventure that has now lasted for over a century!
The origin of the ancient Olympic Games – The Olympic Games are the most famous sporting event today. The Olympic Games have a long history. About 3000 years ago, Greece was made up of different city-states. Competitors from different city-states and colonies joined the games held at Olympia. We call these games the ancient Olympic Games. The first written record of the Games is dated to 776 BC. The Games were held every four years for the Greek gods. Competitors must be Greek, male and free man. Non-Greek, women and slaves could not compete.
The decline of the ancient Olympic Games – In 146 BC, Rome conquered Greece. The Roman began to join the Games. It marked the decline of the Games. The Roman saw sport as a show to please the spectators. The spirit of competition was forgotten. Besides, the Roman emperor Theodosius I became a Christian who believed in a single God. He decided to abolish the Olympic Games in 393AD because the Games were for the many Greek gods.
The revival of the Olympic Games – Inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin of France decided to create the modern Olympic Games. He founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894 in Paris. The IOC held the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Since then, the modern Olympic Games have a history of more than 100 years. Today, the Olympic Games have become the biggest sporting event. They have the largest number of events, the largest number of competitors, and the most countries from which the competitors come. Thank for the media, hundreds of millions of people can watch the Games.