Facts about Olympics games

The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.

The Olympic Games were originated in ancient Greece as many as 3,000 years ago, were revived in the late 19th century and have become the world’s preeminent sporting competition. From the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D., the Games were held every four years in Olympia, located in the western Peloponnese peninsula, in honor of the god Zeus. The first modern Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens, and featured 280 participants from 13 nations, competing in 43 events.

The revival of the Olympic Games began with Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863–1937) of France. Coubertin was greatly interested in education, and he firmly believed that the best way to develop the minds of young people was to develop their bodies as well; learning and athletics should go together.

A French nobleman, Pierre Fredy, the Baron de Coubertin, born in 1863. When he was young, Coubertin was a very keen sportsman. As he grew older he developed a passionate belief that sport could encourage peace throughout the world and bring people from all over the world together.

Coubertin was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games and travelled around the world, spending his own money, trying to persuade people to revive them. Eventually he managed to bring together representatives of many different countries in Paris, in 1894, and the Olympic Movement was begun.

After he visited the ruins of ancient Olympia, it occurred to Coubertin that perhaps the best way to generate widespread acceptance of his theory was to resurrect the Olympic Games. He hoped the new Games would bring back the ideals of physical, mental, and spiritual excellence displayed in the ancient Games, as well as build courage, endurance, and a sense of fair play in all who participated. In addition, he hoped the Games would turn the tide he saw worldwide of the growing commercialism of sports. Since 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games have been held separately and have alternated every two years.

When Baron de Coubertin founded the Olympic Movement he established the International Olympic Committee (the IOC) to supervise it, in 1894. He himself served as its president for 29 years, and there have been 8 presidents since then. There were originally 14 members but the Committee has now grown to over 130 members, all of whom must speak either French or English. Existing members elect new members as required. The IOC is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Olympic rings were adopted by Baron Pierre de Coubertin (founder of the modern Olympic Movement) in 1913 after he saw a similar design on an artifact from ancient Greece. The five rings represent the five major regions of the world: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Every national flag in the world includes at least one of the five colors, which are (from left to right) blue, yellow, black, green, and red. It is important to emphasize that Pierre de Coubertin never said nor wrote that the colors of the rings were linked with the different continents.

The Olympic flag contains five interconnected rings on a white background. The five rings symbolize the five significant continents and are interconnected to symbolize the friendship to be gained from these international competitions. The rings, from left to right, are blue, yellow, black, green, and red. The colors were chosen because at least one of them appeared on the flag of every country in the world. The Olympic flag was first flown during the 1920 Olympic Games.

The Olympic flame is a practice continued from the ancient Olympic Games. In Olympia (Greece), a flame was ignited by the sun and then kept burning until the closing of the Olympic Games. The flame first appeared in the modern Olympics at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. The flame itself represents a number of things, including purity and the endeavor for perfection. In 1936, the chairman of the organizing committee for the 1936 Olympic Games, Carl Diem, suggested what is now the modern Olympic Torch relay.

The Olympic flame represents the positive values that Man has always associated with fire. The purity of the flame is guaranteed by the way it is lit using the sun‟s rays. The choice of Olympia as a departure point emphasizes the link between the Ancient and Modern Games and underlines the profound connection between these two events.

The Olympic medals are designed especially for each individual Olympic Games by the host city's organizing committee. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are types of medals used in olympics games. Each medal must be at least three millimeters thick and 60 millimeters in diameter. Also, the gold and silver Olympic medals must be made out of 92.5 percent silver, with the gold medal covered in six grams of gold.

The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

Posted by: Lusubilo A. Mwaijengo

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