A Short History of the Olympics

The reason why the Olympic Games are so popular is that they are a unique event that is able to unite the entire planet Earth and all nations that live on it. However, its history is quite long and here we’ll take a look at the most important events that made the Olympic Games into what they are today. 

The Beginnings

In the beginning, that is according to the only written records, there had only been one event at the Olympic Games. The race was won by a cook in 776 BC, and he became the first Olympic champion. But there are reasons to believe that the games existed way before that time. By the 6th century BC, the Olympic Games became the most prestigious sports event in entire Greece. 

Similar to the ones we have now, the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece also took place every four years. They served to honor the god Zeus.

The Games were named after the location where they took place, which was Olympia. 

Back in the days, there had been various sports events that Ancient Greeks could compete in, like races (the diaulos and the dolichos), pentathlon, chariot racing, boxing, and others. At the time women weren’t allowed to compete, and married women weren’t even allowed to watch the Games. So, participation was limited to free, male citizens.

And Then, The Games Stopped

The quality of the game was significantly ruined after the Romans conquered Greece. But the official ban was placed upon them after Emperor Theodosius I prohibited all pagan events. And the Olympic Games ended after a 12 centuries-long tradition. 

The world would have to wait for 15 long centuries until the Games started again. And when they did, it was because of the hard work of the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin. In his desire to promote physical education, the baron managed to revive the modern Olympic Games in 1896.

The Most Recent Events

Symbolically, the first modern games were held in Athens in front of 60,000 people and 280 participants. The Games got their first official logo in the shape of 5 connected rings. The real change came after the Games that took place in Paris in 1924. During this event, more than 3,000 athletes participated, both male and female, and it was also the year when the first Winter Olympics were organized. The Games returned to Greece once more in 2004, and this time, they were a true homage to their incredible history. 

About the Author

You may also like these