Olympic Games are the biggest worldwide event which displays not just a match between the best athletes but a competition between almost all the nations of the world. Olympic Games are held once in four years. To compete in this biggest international event, more than 200 countries worldwide participate and try to prove their dominance in the field of athletics and games.
The Olympic Games mark their concept from the Greek Olympia which was held in the held in the 8 century BC. The modern Olympic Games were first held in 1896, in Athens, Greece. The first Olympic Games were known as Games of the I Olympiad.
The modern Olympic Games became possible due to the International Olympic Committee which was founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. This committee was founded by Coubertin in 1894 after several earlier attempts of doing so. The IOC is now an autonomous central body which takes all the decisions for the Modern Olympics.
Ancient Olympic Games
Ancient Olympic Games represented a sequence of competitions which was conducted amid some of the cities and the empires in Ancient Greece. Ancient Olympic Games not only were a representation of just athletics but it even viewed battle tactics. The Ancient Olympic Games were special as because until and unless the Olympic Games were over, all the battles and grudges between the empires were put aside.
How and When Did the Ancient Olympic Games Started
The beginning of the Ancient Olympic Games is not known. It is believed like a myth that the games were started at the time of Hercules and were started by the great lord Zeus himself. Further it is said that the Hercules, as being the mightiest, named the games as Olympic Games. He was a true winner in the sphere of the Olympic Games.
The most generally acknowledged time for the origin of the Ancient Olympics is said to be 776 BC. This era of time is been based on engravings which were present at the Olympia.
The Ancient Olympic Games included a series of events like running, jumping, javelin throws, wrestling, boxing, etc. events. Coroebus who was a cook by profession, in Elis, was the first winner of the Ancient Olympic Games. The winners of the Ancient Olympic Games were held high in regard; sometimes their statues were built in order to honor them.
The Ancient Olympic Games like the modern games were held once in every four years.
End of the Ancient Olympic Games
The Ancient Olympic Games are believed to reach their point of acme in the midst of 6th and 5th century BC. But soon after this, the enthusiasm of the games fell down progressively. This happened as the romans gained strength and power in Greece. It is believed that till 393 AD, Ancient Olympic Games came to an end.
Modern Olympic Games
The modern Olympic Games were first held in 1896, in Athens, Greece. The first Olympic Games were known as Games of the I Olympiad. Mordern Olympic Games are a result of the IOC, which was established by the Baron Pierre de Coubertin. His work and efficiency proved to be a success and the first Modern Olympic Games were held in 1896.
Pre-Attempts To Shape the Modern Olympic Games
The modern Olympic Games were originally, at the time when the game was initiated for the first time, were known as L’Olympiade de la République. The L’Olympiade de la République was for the first time held in France in 1796. The games lasted till the end of the 17th century.
But this was it. There were several other attempts done in regard for the modern Olympic Games.
One such attempt was made by Dr. William Penny Brookes in England which marks the inception of the Modern Olympic Games. Dr. Brookes in 1859 reformed the name of the Olympics to “Wenlock Olympian Games”. The “Wenlock Olympian Society” was established by Dr. Brookes exactly on ‘15 November 1860’.
Though, even after the inception the “Wenlock Olympian Society”, the modern Olympic Games did not take its present shape.
Liverpool in 1862 conducted a yearly Grand Olympic Festival, which was formulated by John Hulley and Charles Melly. This somehow became the base structure of the Modern Olympics. J. Hulley and C. Melly along with Dr. Brookes and E.G. Ravenstein planned and created the ‘National Olympian Association’ within Liverpool. This committee is said to be an omen of the “British Olympic Association”.
The ‘National Olympian Association’, in 1866, structured a countrywide Olympic Games in Great Britain at the London’s Crystal Palace.
In 1870 the Panathinaiko Stadium held the Olympics. It is believed that more than thirty thousand audiences showed up to attend the 1870 Olympic Games; however no certified attendance accounts are existing of the 1875 Games.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) – Modern Olympic Games
In 1890 Baron Pierre de Coubertin, after seeing the Olympic Games hosted by the Wenlock society, thought of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Coubertin then made the idea of the International Olympic Committee. He backed his work with the ideas and perception of the Brookes and Zappas. He established an international Olympic Games which would be held once in every four years and whose hosting grounds would work by an international rotational way.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin showed his vision and ideas of the Modern Olympics at the initial Olympic Congress at the ‘Sorbonne University in Paris’. This conference was held for 7 consecutive days, from 16 till 23 June, 1894.
The decision was taken on the last day of the Conference. The idea of the IOC was accepted in general and that the next coming games, which would be held in 1896 in Athens, would be held under the newly formed committee International Olympic Committee (IOC). The first president of the IOC was a Greek writer Mr. Demetrius Vikelas.
The IOC is now an autonomous central body which takes all the decisions for the Modern Olympics.
The first Official Modern Olympic Games were held under the IOC and were hosted in the Panathenaic stadium, situated in Athens in 1896. In the first Official Modern Olympic Games 14 nations and 241 athletes took part; 43 events were conducted in the first games.
Olympic Games after 1896
Soon after the 1896 games, Olympic entered into a stage of various obstructions. At first the games were only open for men but since the 1904 Olympic Games, which were held at St. Louis, women also became a part of this biggest international event. A lot of women became a part of the international games.
Winter Olympic Games
Amid all this there was one thing which troubled the IOC. It was that the games were held in summers so all the events which took place were represented summer sports.
This became an issue and was raised up in the conference of 1921 by the Olympic Congress, held in Lausanne. The IOC decided to encompass more games and so this conference of 1921 decided to hold winter Olympic Games.
After 11 days of the conference, in 1924 at Chamonix, France, the first Winter Olympic Games were officially held. The winter games also had the same basic set of rules. And even the Winter Olympic Games were also held once in four years.
Youth Olympic Games
Earlier only the adults were allowed to participate in the games but since 2010, a special part was introduced in the Olympic Games. This was the Youth Olympic Games.
Youth Olympic Games, became a part of Olympics in 2010, it offers junior contestants of age – 14 to 18 to compete.
The Youth Games were held in summers as well as in winters.
The first Summer Youth Games were held in Singapore in August 2010, while the first Winter Youth Games were held after 2 years in Innsbruck, Austria.
The Youth Games are not as long as the adult one. Summer Olympic Youth Games lasts a sequence of twelve days while the Winter Olympic Youth Games are held for nine days.
These Games will be shorter than the senior Games; the summer version will last twelve days, while the winter version will last nine days.
As per the criteria laid down by the IOC, 3500 athletes are allowed to compete in the Summer Olympic Youth Games and 970 athletes in the Winter Olympic Youth Games.
Olympic Games Yearly Shedule
|Summer Olympics||Winter Olympics||Youth Olympics|
|1896||Greece Athens, Greece|
|1900||France Paris, France|
|1904||United States St. Louis, United States[a]|
|1906||Greece Athens, Greece|
|1908||United Kingdom London, Great Britain|
|1912||Sweden Stockholm, Sweden|
|1916||Germany Berlin, Germany →|
|Cancelled because of World War I|
|1920||Belgium Antwerp, Belgium|
|1924||France Paris, France||I||France Chamonix, France|
|1928||Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands||II||Switzerland St. Moritz, Switzerland|
|1932||United States Los Angeles, United States||III||United States Lake Placid, United States|
|1936||Germany Berlin, Germany||IV||Germany Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany|
|1940||Empire of Japan Tokyo, Japan →||V||Empire of Japan Sapporo, Japan →|
|Finland Helsinki, Finland →||Switzerland St. Moritz, Switzerland →|
|Cancelled because of World War II||Germany Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany →|
|Cancelled because of World War II|
|1944||United Kingdom London, Great Britain →||V||Italy Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy →|
|Cancelled because of World War II||Cancelled because of World War II|
|1948||United Kingdom London, Great Britain||V||Switzerland St. Moritz, Switzerland|
|1952||Finland Helsinki, Finland||VI||Norway Oslo, Norway|
|1956||Australia Melbourne, Australia +||VII||Italy Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy|
|Sweden Stockholm, Sweden[c]|
|1960||Italy Rome, Italy||VIII||United States Squaw Valley, United States|
|1964||Japan Tokyo, Japan||IX||Austria Innsbruck, Austria|
|1968||Mexico Mexico City, Mexico||X||France Grenoble, France|
|1972||West Germany Munich, West Germany||XI||Japan Sapporo, Japan|
|1976||Canada Montreal, Canada||XII||United States Denver, United States →|
|Austria Innsbruck, Austria|
|1980||Soviet Union Moscow, Soviet Union||XIII||United States Lake Placid, United States|
|1984||United States Los Angeles, United States||XIV||Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Sarajevo, Yugoslavia|
|1988||South Korea Seoul, South Korea||XV||Canada Calgary, Canada|
|1992||Spain Barcelona, Spain||XVI||France Albertville, France|
|1994||XVII||Norway Lillehammer, Norway|
|1996||United States Atlanta, United States|
|1998||XVIII||Japan Nagano, Nagano, Japan|
|2000||Australia Sydney, Australia|
|2002||XIX||United States Salt Lake City, United States|
|2004||Greece Athens, Greece|
|2006||XX||Italy Turin, Italy|
|2008||China Beijing, China[d]|
|2010||XXI||Canada Vancouver, Canada||I (Summer)||Singapore|
|2012||United Kingdom London, Great Britain||I (Winter)||Austria Innsbruck, Austria|
|2014||XXII||Russia Sochi, Russia||II (Summer)||China Nanjing, China|
|2016||Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||II (Winter)||Norway Lillehammer, Norway|
|2018||XXIII||South Korea Pyeongchang, South Korea||III (Summer)||To be determined|
|2020||To be determined||III (Winter)||To be determined|
|2022||XXIV||To be determined||IV (Summer)||To be determined|
|2024||To be determined||IV (Winter)||To be determined|