The history of the Olympic Games 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 Games. 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 standard. 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 fairness. 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 Olympics. Cheaters were deterred by stiff fines and the possibility of flogging. 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 people." Afterwards, nine bands and 150 choir singers performed an Olympic Hymn, composed by Spyridon Samaras, with words by poet Kostis Palamas. Cycling Fencing Gymnastics Shooting Swimming Tennis Weightlifting Wrestling 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 Committees. 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 affairs. 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 Olympics). 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 Olympics. 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 time. 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 needs. 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 Committee. 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 games. 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 together. • 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.