The Modern Olympic Games

Modern Olympics, as can be seen at this year's London Olympics, has become one of the biggest special sporting events on the international calendar. But what do we know about these games from a historical point of view?

With more than 200 countries now competing in the Olympics (both summer and winter games) are held every two years, with the summer and winter Olympics rotating every two years, but every event (either summer or winter Olympics) occurs every four years only.

Creation of the modern Olympic Games

The modern Olympic Games were held in 1896 and were inspired by ancient Olympic sporting events held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. The first modern games were organized by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who also founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

However, it led to the creation of the modern Olympic Games, there were a number of short-term attempts to create the Games before 1896, the most famous of which were:

  • The Cotswold Olimpick Games founded in 1612 in England
  • Olympia de la Republic was founded in 1796 in revolutionary France
  • Great Olympic Festival in 1862 in the UK

Did you know? In fact, there are 4 Olympics, Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, Paralympics (held for athletes with physical disabilities) and Youth Olympics (held for the best teen athletes in the world).

Rituals and symbols of the Olympic Games

The Olympic Games are a celebration of sports prowess and include many rituals and symbols that have become known in everyday modern life. Take, for example, the Olympic symbol of the Olympics that represents every continent of the world in one unit, or the famous Olympic torch that is used to stoke the flames of sports passion and audacity. Both play an important role in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games, which in themselves have become an integral symbolic celebration representing everything represented by the modern Olympic Games.

Did you know? Although the IOC is responsible for selecting the host city for the Olympics, it is entirely up to that city to fund and organize the Games. What needs to be done is to comply with the Olympic Charter as defined by the International Olympic Committee.

Modern Olympics have now grown to a level far beyond the expectations of its original founder. They have become part of the spirit of sport in the world and represent all that is good and honorable in modern sport.

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