The Olympics: the modern version of the Olympic Games of the ancient Greece.

Thursday, 05 August 2021
Postponed to 2021, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games are taking place from July 23 to August 8. Postponed to 2021, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games are taking place from July 23 to August 8.

Every four years, the most talented athletes from around the globe compete in the major international multi-sport event, commonly known as “the Olympic Games”. However, basically, the event happens every two years: the Summer Olympics every leap year and the Winter Olympics two years after each leap year. The famous competition took its root in the ancient Greece where it was staged every four year at Olympia, Greece.

Throwback to the ancient Olympic Games.

The history of the Olympic Games goes back to the ancient Greece 3,000 years ago. Their inception was first inspired by the ancient Olympic Games – a series of athletic competitions among representatives of Greek city-states to honor Zeus. Historically, the year 776 B.C. was told to be the year when the first games were organized. At that time, “Olympiad” – a period of four years – was the unit of time used in historical chronologies.

The real origin of the Olympics remains blurring and unknown. Yet, the date of 776 B.C., is often used as a reference and cited in written sources. Since the purpose of the games was traditionally to honor Greek God, historians linked them up to mythology. The myths of the origin of the Olympic Games identify Heracles, later Hercules, and his father Zeus as the progenitors of the games. According to legend, Heracles was the one who entitled the games “Olympic”, and who established the custom of scheduling them every four years. The myth maintains that after Heracles completed his twelve labors – a series of episodes concerning a penance Heracles carried out – he built the Olympic Stadium as a tribute to his father, Zeus.

Highlights on the modern Olympics.

Some time after reaching a milestone, the Olympics declined due to the outbreaks of wars and then was abolished in the early Christian era. It took about 1,500 years to see the Olympic Games emerge again. The event resumed in the late nineteenth century, thanks to a French nobleman and educator named Pierre de Coubertin. Pierre de Coubertin believed that he could revive the games with the idea of establishing an educational program in France based on the ancient Greek notion of a balanced development of mind and body. As he advocated for the revival of the Olympic Games, Coubertin attempted to convince sports delegates and representatives about his project. After being rejected several times, he finally found support from nine countries – Belgium, England, France, Greece, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the United States.

The revival of the Olympic Games, then, took place in 1896. The modern Olympics were born. To honor the Greek games, the first modern Olympics were organized in Greece where thirteen countries competed. On these first events, nine sports were on the agenda: cycling, fencing, gymnastics, lawn tennis, shooting, swimming, track and field, weight lifting, and wrestling. The evolution of the Olympic Movement – governed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) founded by Pierre de Coubertin – resulted in several changes in the games later in the 20th century. The Winter Olympics were added first, meant for ice sports. Then followed the Paralympic Games for athletes with disabilities, the Youth Olympic Games and finally the World Games – sports not contested in the Olympic Games. Nevertheless, the Summer Games remain the focal point of the modern Olympics and offer a wider scope of events.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed and are currently happening until August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

Sources: Bureau of Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 Preparation / Scholastic / Penn Museum.

Read 194 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 August 2021 06:53
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