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The history
of the
done by Bukanov Maxim, 317
The ancient Olympic Games were
primarily a part of a religious festival
in honor of Zeus, the father of the
Greek gods and goddesses. The
festival and the games were held in
Olympia, a rural sanctuary site in the
western Peloponnesos.
 The games were
basically just for men,
no women were
allowed expect for a
priestess from the
temple of Demeter.
 It was considered
sacrilege to commit a
crime, including
accepting payment,
corruption, and
invasion during the
Olympic Games.
 One version of the story
attributes the orgins of the
games to Hercules who
held the games as a thank
offering to his father, Zeus,
after Hercules had exacted
revenge on King Augeus of
Elis. Foolishly, Augeus had
defaulted on his promised
reward to Hercules for
cleaning the stables.
 Another story is connected with
the tragedy-ridden House of
Atreus. Pelops won the hand of
his bride, Hippodamia, by
competing in a chariot race
against her father, King
Oenomaus of Pisa. Pelops
conspired to win the race by
replacing the king’s lynch-pins
with ones made of wax. These
melted on the course, throwing
the king from his chariot and
killing him. After the marriage,
he celebrated his victory by
holding the first Olympic
 Potential participants included all free Greek
men, except certain felons, and barbarians during
the Classical period. By the Hellenistic period,
professional athletes competed.
 Any man wishing to participate would stand in
front of the judges to take the oath and to declare
that they have been in training for ten months.
 Women, especially married women, were not
allowed to enter the stadium during the games
and might be killed if they tried.
 There was a separate race for women in Olympia.
For many years, the Olympics were a one-day festival. For the first 13 Olympiads, the
stadion (200-meter sprint) was the only event. As more events were added, the
number of days grew, until from the fifth century on, the five-day schedule was
Day One—No competitions took place on the first day. After the opening
ceremony, which included the taking of oaths by the athletes and judges, the
competitors were registered and schedules were drawn up. Sacrifices were
presented to the gods and the opening of the Games were celebrated.
Day Two—On the second day there were special events for the boys. This usually
included boxing and pankration wrestling. The day ended with celebrations for
the young participants.
Day Three—This day began with the "hecatombe," a sacrifice of 100 oxen to Zeus by
the Eleans. Next, the primary events began, starting with chariot races and horse
races in the Hippodrome. Then came the pentathlon, a combination of five events
(sprint, long jump, discus, javelin, and wrestling), in the stadium.
Day Four—The fourth day opened with the foot races: the stadion (200 meters),
the diaulos (400 meters), and the dolichos (2,000 meters). This was followed by
wrestling, boxing, and pankration wrestling. The final event of each Olympics was
a spectacle called the hoplitodromia, a 200-meter sprint in helmet, greaves (calf
armor), and shield.
Day Five—The final day was one long closing ceremony. The gods were venerated
with sacrifices and ceremonies. The victors were crowned with olive wreaths at the
elaborate awards ceremony, followed by feasts were held in their honor.
 An Olympic victor was
crowned with an olive
wreath and his name was
inscribed in the official
Olympic records.
 Some Olympic victors
were fed for the rest of
their lives by their poleis
(city-state), although
they were never paid.
 They were considered
heroes who conferred
honor upon their poleis.
 Hellanodikai were Greek judges at the ancient
Olympics. There were nine of them by 400 B.C.
and ten by 348 B.C.
They awarded the Kotinos (the Olive branch
intertwined to form a circle or horseshoe).
They came from Elis, where the Olympics were
held. They were specially trained for one
Olympiad that they judged.
The Hellanodikai were renowned for their
Judges could fine, whip or expel cheaters.
 The period of sacred truce for the duration of the
Olympic games. The first Ekecheiria was made
for a month between Iphitos of Elis, Kleosthenes
of Pisa, and Lykourgos of Sparta.
 The truce ceased hostilities. Arms and armies
were not allowed to enter Elis during the truce.
 The truce also held of all executions
 Cheating seems to
have been rare
during the ancient
 Cheaters were
deterred by stiff
fines and the
possibility of
 Pierre de Coubertin was a French
pedagogue and historian and was known
as the “Father of the Olympics”
 Coubertin was active in many sports and
regarded sports as playing an essential
role in the development of character. He
also believed that world peace would be
furthered through sports competitions.
 He was the primary force in the revival of
the Olympic Games in 1896, nearly 1,500
years after the closing of the original
games in Athens.
 As "le Renovateur" (the reviver) of the
Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin
influenced the entire world, bringing
people of all nations, races, and cultures
closer together in a common pursuit of
excellence in sports.
 A growing interest in the ancient
Olympic Games gave birth to a plan to
revive the ancient games. At a meeting
of the Union des Sports Athlétiques in
Paris in 1892, Coubertin openly
declared his plan:
 “Let us export our oarsmen, our
runners, our fencers into other lands.
That is the true Free Trade of the
future; and the day it is introduced
into Europe the cause of Peace will
have received a new and strong ally. It
inspires me to touch upon another
step I now propose and in it I shall ask
that the help you have given me
hitherto you will extend again, so that
together we may attempt to realize,
upon a basis suitable to the conditions
of our modern life, the splendid and
beneficent task of reviving the
Olympic Games.”
 The 1896 Summer Olympics, officially known as
the Games of the I Olympiad, was a multi-sport
event celebrated in Athens, Greece, from April 6
to April 15, 1896. It was the first international
Olympic Games held in the Modern era.
 Despite many obstacles and setbacks, the 1896
Olympics were regarded as a great success. The
Games had the largest international participation
of any sporting event to that date.
 On April 6 (March 25 according to the Julian calendar then
in use in Greece), the games of the First Olympiad were
officially opened. The Panathinaiko Stadium was filled
with an estimated 80,000 spectators, including King
George I of Greece, his wife Olga, and their sons. Most of
the competing athletes were aligned on the infield,
grouped by nation. After a speech by the president of the
organizing committee, Crown Prince Constantine, his
father officially opened the Games:
 "I declare the opening of the first international Olympic
Games in Athens. Long live the Nation. Long live the Greek
 Afterwards, nine bands and 150 choir singers performed an
Olympic Hymn, composed by Spyridon Samaras, with
words by poet Kostis Palamas.
 Australia
 Austria
 Bulgaria
 Chile
 Denmark
 France
 Germany
 Great Britain
 Greece
 Hungary
 Italy
 Sweden
 Switzerland
 United States
 The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is an
international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland,
created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with
Demetrios Vikelas as its first president. Today its
membership consists of the 205 National Olympic
 The IOC Executive Board consists of the President, four VicePresidents and ten other members. All members of the IOC
Executive Board are elected by the Session, in a secret ballot,
by a majority of the votes cast. The IOC Executive Board
assumes the general overall responsibility for the
administration of the IOC and the management of its
 The IOC Session elects, by secret ballot, the IOC President
from among its members for a term of eight years renewable
once for a term of four years.
 Like its ancestor, the first modern
Olympics, held in Athens, Greece,
in 1896, was just for men. Women
had to wait until the second
Olympics to participate. At the
Paris Games of 1900, women were
allowed to compete, but only in
tennis and golf.
 She was a member of the Ealing
Lawn Tennis Club. She won her first
of five Wimbledon championships
singles titles in 1895, wearing an
ankle-length dress in accordance
with proper Victorian attire. She
won again the following year and for
the third time in 1898. She won the
tennis singles at the 1900 Summer
Olympics in Paris, France where
women were allowed to participate
for the first time. (Medals were not
awarded until the 1904 Summer
 Mrs. Cooper Sterry remained active
in competitive tennis and continued
to play in championship events well
into her 50s. Her husband became
President of the Lawn Tennis
Association and their daughter,
Gwen, played on Britain's
Wightman Cup tennis team.
 In 1966, Charlotte Cooper Sterry
died at the age of 96, in
Helensburgh, Scotland.
 She was the first American woman
to take first place in an Olympic
event; she won the women's golf
tournament, consisting of nine
holes, with a score of 47 at the 1900
Paris games. These games were
apparently so poorly organized that
many competitors, including
Abbott, did not realize that the
events they entered were part of the
 Historical research did not establish
that the game was on the Olympic
program until after her death, so she
herself never knew it. Her mother,
Mary Perkins Ives Abbot (a novelist
and Chicago Tribune book reviewer)
also competed in the event,
finishing tied for seventh, making it
the first (and still only) Olympic
event in which a mother and
daughter competed at the same
 In 1924, the winter games became a new feature of
the modern Olympics. Such cold-weather sports
as pair and figure skating, ice hockey,
bobsledding, and the biathlon (rifle shooting on a
cross-country ski) could not be developed in the
warm climate of Greece.
 Until 1992, the winter games were held in the
same year as the summer games. Beginning in
1994, the winter games were held two years apart,
on separate four-year cycles.
Special Olympics
The first International Special
Olympics Summer Games were held
at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1968.
Anne McGlone Burke, a physical
education teacher with the Chicago
Park District, began with the idea for
a one-time Olympic-style athletic
competition for people with special
In 1971, The U.S. Olympic Committee
gave the Special Olympics official
approval to use the name “Olympics”.
The first International Special
Olympics Winter Games were held in
February 1977 in Steamboat Springs,
Colorado, USA.
 In 1988, the Special Olympics was officially recognized
by the International Olympic Committee.
 In 1997, Healthy Athletes became an official Special
Olympics initiative, offering health information and
screenings to Special Olympics athletes worldwide.
 In 2003 the first Special Olympics World Summer
Games to be held outside of the United States took
place in Dublin Ireland. Approximately 7000 athletes
from 150 countries competed over 18 disciplines.
 On October 30, 2004, President George W. Bush signed
into law the "Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment
Act," Public Law 108-406. The bill authorized funding
for its Healthy Athletes, Education, and Worldwide
Expansion programs.
 The Olympic salute is a
variant of the Roman
salute, with the right arm
and hand stretched out
and pointing upward, the
palm is outward and
downward with the fingers
touching. However, the
arm is raised higher and at
an angle to the right form
the shoulder.
 Since the second world war
the greeting has fallen out
of use because of the
possibility of it being
mistaken for the Nazi
salute, although no official
stance has been taken on
the matter by the
International Olympic
 After the flame is lit, doves are released as a symbol of
peace. This was first done in 1896 Olympics and then
again at the 1920 games. Since 1920, this has been an
official part of the opening ceremony of the summer
 They are generally not released during the winter games
because it is too cold for the birds, but symbolic
substitutions are sometimes used. For example, in the
1994 games white balloons were released.
 The order -flame then doves- is important. In the 1988
Seoul games, they tried it the other way around.
Unfortunately, many of the doves were in the area of the
cauldron just before it burst into flames, leading to
their unexpected demise.
 The Olympic Anthem was written for the first modern games in 1896,
composed by Spyros Samaras to lyrics by Kostis Palamas.
Immortal spirit of antiquity,
Father of the true, beautiful and good,
Descend, appear, shed over us thy light
Upon the ground and under this sky
Which has first witnessed thy unperishable flame.
Give us life and animation to those noble games!
Throw wreaths of fadeless flowers to the victors
In the race and in the strife!
Create in our breasts, hearts of steel!
In thy light, plains, munitions and seas
Shine in a roseate hue to adore thee,
Oh immortal spirit of antiquity!
Citius - Altius - Fortius
Faster – Higher – Stronger
The intended meaning is that one’s
focus should be on bettering
one’s achievements,
rather than coming
in first.
The original thoughts as to the meaning of
the Olympic rings on the flag of the
Olympic Games is the symbolism of the
five different colored rings, all interlinked
These five multicolored Olympic rings
stand for the five continents where the
athletes traveled from to take part in the
sporting competitions of these Olympic
events. The reason for the interlocking
rings on the Olympic flag is symbolic in
showing that the Olympic Games are
intended for all nations to be able to come
and compete against one another in unity.
The meaning of the Olympic rings colors is
not of any important significance, but the
five colors of the Olympic rings and the
white background have at least one color
of every nation’s flag in them.
The design of the Olympic flag was first
made in 1914 but it was not flown in the
Olympic Games until 1920, when the games
were held in the city of Antwerp, Belgium
and it has been flown in every Olympic
Event since.
 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 flame is lit in Olympia by women
wearing ancient-style robes and using a
curved mirror and the sun. The Olympic
Torch is then passed from runner to runner
from the ancient site of Olympia to the
Olympic stadium in the hosting city.
The Olympic flame is lit at the ancient site
The flame is then kept alight until the
Games have concluded.
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