The Ancient Olympic Games
According to historical records, the first ancient
Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC.
They were dedicated to the Olympian gods and
were staged on the ancient plains of Olympia.
They continued for nearly 12 centuries, until
Emperor Theodosius decreed in 393 A.D. that all
such "pagan cults" be banned.
The oldest myth which concerns the beginning of
the Olympic Games is that of Idaios Daktylos
Herakles. According to other myths, Zeus, the
father of humanity, fought and defeated Cronus
in a struggle for the throne of the gods. Finally,
the well-known demigod Herakles is mentioned.
He staged games in Olympia in honour of Zeus,
because the latter had helped him conquer Elis
when he went to war against Augeas.
All free male Greek citizens were entitled to participate in the
ancient Olympic Games, regardless of their social status.
Orsippos, a general from Megara; Polymnistor, a shepherd;
Diagoras, a member of a royal family from Rhodes; Alexander
I, son of Amyndas and King of Macedonia; and Democritus, a
philosopher, were all participants in the Games.
Married women were not allowed to participate in, or to watch,
the ancient Olympic Games. However, unmarried women
could attend the competition, and the priestess of Demeter,
goddess of fertility, was given a privileged position next to the
Revival of the Olympic Games
Efforts for the revival of the Olympic Games in
modern times reached a peak at the end of the
19th century with the instrumental contribution
of the French Baron Pierre De Coubertin and
the Greek Dimitrios Vikelas. The first
contemporary Olympic Games took place with
great glamour in 1896 in Athens, in the
Panathenaic Stadium. The head quarters of the
International Olympic Academy are in Olympia
now. source: http://odysseus.culture.gr/a/1/11/ea116.html
The Modern Olympic Games
The modern Olympic Games are the leading international sporting
event featuring summer and winter sports competitions wherein
thousands of athletes variously compete. 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. Their creation
was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in
Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic
Committee (IOC) in 1894. The IOC is the governing body of the
Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its
structure and authority.
Sports in the Summer Olympic Games
The Summer Olympic program includes the following
sports: aquatics (including swimming, synchronized
swimming, diving, and water polo), archery, athletics
(track and field), badminton, baseball, basketball,
boxing, canoeing and kayaking, cycling, equestrian
sports, fencing, field hockey, football (soccer),
gymnastics, team handball, judo, modern pentathlon,
rowing, sailing (formerly yachting), shooting, softball,
table tennis, tae kwon do, tennis, triathlon, volleyball,
weightlifting, and wrestling. Women participate in all
these sports except baseball and boxing. Men do not
compete in softball and synchronized swimming.
Sports in the Winter Olympic Games
The Winter Olympic program includes sports
played on snow or ice: biathlon, bobsledding,
curling, ice hockey, ice skating (figure skating
and speed skating), luge, skeleton (headfirst)
sledding, skiing, ski jumping, and snowboarding.
Athletes of either gender may compete in all
source for summer and winter sports:
Activities that can be done:
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