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Olympic Games are the leading international sporting event featuring summer and winter sports competitions.
The Olympic Games are considered the world’s important sports competition with more than 200 nations participating.
For the period of the Games all the wars stopped.
So the Olympic Games became a symbol of peace and friendship.
History of Olympic Games
The earliest records of the Olympic Games goes back to 776 BC
This is based on inscriptions, found at Olympia, listing the winners of a footrace held every four years starting in 776 BC.
Competition was among representatives of several city-states and kingdoms of Ancient Greece.
The ancient Games were held in honour of Zeus, the most important god for ancient Greek.
For two weeks and a half any international conflicts must be stopped
and replaced with friendly competitions.
This is noble idea on which the modern Olympic movement is based.
The Ancient Games featured running events, a pentathlon(consisting of a jumping event, discus and javelin throws, a foot race, and wrestling), boxing, wrestling, pankration, and equestrian events
(horse and chariot racing).
Only men were allowed to compete or watch the games. Coroebus, a cook from the city of Elis, was the first recorded Olympic champion.
The winners of the events were admired and immortalized in poems and statues.
In 394 AD the Games were officially ended by the Roman emperor Theodosius, who thought they had pagan meaning.
The Olympic Games were renewed in 1896, and ince then they have been staged every fourth year, except during World War I and World War II.
Pierre de Coubertin
In 1894, Pierre de Coubertin, a young French nobleman, had an idea to bring the Olympic Games back to life.
He addressed all the sports governing bodies and pointed out the significance of sports and its educational value.
With the help of the people who supported him he managed to organize the first modern Olympic Games.
Baron de Coubertin had planned to hold the Olympic Games in France,
but the representatives from the nine countries that supported his idea
decided that Greece was the right place to host the first Olympic Games
to symbolize the continuation of the centuries-old tradition.
The nine countries were Belgium England, France, Greece, Italy, Russia,
Spain, Sweden and the United States.
They agreed that every four years the Olympics would move to other
great cities of the world.
The Athens Games in 1896 were a success.
In 1896 the International Olympic Committee
( IOC) was set up. It is situated in Lausanne, Switzerland. IOC is the central policy-making body of the Olympic movement.
It is formed by the representatives of all countries
which take part in the Olympic Games.
The International Olympic Committee decides upon the programme of the games, the number of the participants and the city-host for the Games.
Over 150 countries are represented in it.
Each country has its own National Olympic Committee
Beginning in 1926 The Winter Olympic Games were included. They were created to feature snow and ice sports that were logistically impossible to hold during the Summer Games. They were held in the same year as the Summer Games, but starting in 1994, the Winter Olympics are held two years after the Summer Games.
Since the Modern Olympics began in 1896, there have been 28 Summer Olympic Games held in 22 different cities and 21 Winter Olympic Games held in 18 different cities.
There are always several cities wishing to host the Games. The most suitable is selected by the International Olympic Committee, usually seven years in advance.
After that the city of the Games starts preparations for the
competitions, construct new sports facilities, stadiums, hotels, press centres.
Thousands of athletes, journalists and guests come to the Games and it takes great efforts to arrange everything.
There is always an interesting cultural programme of concerts,exhibitions, festivals for each Games.
The Olympic Games program consists of 35 sports, 30 disciplines and nearly 400 events. The Summer Olympics program includes 26 sports, while the Winter Olympics program features 15 sports.
The Olympic Flag
Five interlocked rings of blue, black, red, yellow and green colours symbolize the five continents united into the Olympic movement. The blue ring symbolizes Europe, the black ring – Africa, the red ring – America, the yellow ring – Asia, the green ring – Australia.
Months before each Games, the Olympic flame is lit in Olympia in a ceremony that reflects ancient Greek rituals.
The Olympic Flame
The Olympic mascot, an animal or human figure representing the cultural heritage of the host country.
The Olympic mascot
The Olympic motto is «Citius, altius, fortius». These Latin words mean: «Faster, higher, stronger».
The Olympic motto
The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games takes place before
the events have occurred.
The ceremony typically starts with the hoisting of the host country’s flag
and a performance of its national anthem.
The host nation then presents artistic displaysof music, singing, dance,
and theater representative of its culture.
After that the athletes parade into the stadium grouped by nation.
Greece is traditionally the first nation to enter in order to honor
the origins of the Olympics.
Nations then enter the stadium alphabetically according to
the host country’s chosen language, with the host country’s athletes
being the last to enter.
Finally, the Olympic torch is brought into the stadium and
passed on until it reaches the final torch carrier,
often a successful Olympic athlete from the host nation,
who lights the Olympic flame in the stadium’s cauldron.
The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games takes place after all sporting events have concluded.
Flag-bearers from each participating country enter the stadium, followed by the athletes who enter together, without any national distinction.
Three national flags are hoisted while the corresponding national anthems are played:
the flag of the current host country; the flag of Greece, to honor the birthplace of the Olympic Games; and the flag of the country hosting the next Summer or Winter Olympic Games.
The president of the organizing committee and the IOC president make their closing
speeches, the Games are officially closed, and the Olympic flame is extinguished.
The athletes or teams who place first, second, or third in each event receive medals. A medal ceremony is held after each Olympic event is concluded.
The winner, second and third-place competitors or teams stand on top of a three-tiered rostrum to be awarded their respective medals.
After the medals are given out by an IOC member, the national flags of the three medalists are raised while
the national anthem of the gold medalist’s country plays.
Coubertin’s Olympic ideals are expressed in the Olympic creed:
The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win
but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not
the triumph but the struggle.
The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.
Russia joined the Olympic movement in 1952.
Since then Russian sportsmen have won a lot of gold, silver
and bronze medals.
In 1980 Moscow hosted the Twenty-Second Olympic Games.
In 2014 The Olympic Games will be held in Sochi.
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