After being postponed for an entire year, Japan will host the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020! Are you all thrilled, group? Let’s commemorate this wonderful occasion by looking at the top ten facts about the Olympics.
Information about the Olympics
1. In 776 BC, the first Olympic Games were held.
The first Olympic Games were a component of an ancient Greek festival honoring Zeus, the Greek God of the sky and weather. The entire competition, which lasted up to six months, featured events including chariot racing, long jump, javelin, discus, wrestling, and boxing.
2. The Olympic Games were abandoned in 393 AD and didn’t resume for over 1500 years!
Due to the celebration’s religious component, Roman Emperor Theodosius I outlawed the Greek Olympics. He believed that the Olympics were a heathen celebration that had no place in his Christian nation.
So, until 1896, when a man by the name of Baron Pierre de Coubertin began a resurrection of the Games, that was the end of the Olympics. The “modern Olympics,” as he dubbed this new competition, exist today.
3. The Olympic torch serves as a symbol of the Greek heritage of the Games.
A flame was lit during the Games in the past as a devotion to the goddess Hestia. This custom has persisted in the modern Games since 1928, but now the flame burns in a specific torch rather than an altar.
In Olympia, Greece, the site of the first Greek Games, the sun constantly fuels the torch flame. Then, in a vast global relay that concludes in the host city, it is carried from torch to torch. Wow! For each Olympic Games, new torches are created, and thousands of them are produced. Being a torchbearer is an honor, and many motivating people have a turn each time.
4. Only 14 nations competed in the inaugural Summer Olympics.
At the first host city, Athens, teams from 11 European nations joined those from Australia, Chile, and the United States. Today, the Olympics feature competitors from over 200 countries each year!
5. Everyone was intended to be represented by the Olympic symbol.
The Olympic rings were developed by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the modern creator of the Games, and were first made in 1913. All participating countries are represented by their five colors, the same colors found on their flags, and the white background. The overlaps also signify global collaboration and the association of athletes from different parts of the world, which is adorable!
6. Hot air ballooning, tug of war, and motorboat sailing were all once Olympic sports!
Different sports and competitions are elected to (or out of) the Olympic Games over time. Some, like rugby or golf, go and then come back, while others, like running deer shooting or dueling pistols, become obsolete overnight.
7. In 1924, a different city than the one hosting the Summer Olympics hosted the first Winter Olympic Games.
Initially, the Winter and Summer Olympics were held in the same year, but organizers soon realized that it made more sense to separate them! The Winter Olympics now take place two years after the Summer Olympics as a result.
8. Artists competed in the Olympics from 1921 to 1948.
Painters, sculptors, architects, poets, and musicians participated in these games! They fought for gold by producing works of art that frequently praised concurrent sporting victories. Even though they were no longer allowed to compete in the Games officially after 1948, many still create posters and other memorabilia today!
9. Olympic gold medals for first place were composed of real gold until 1912!
One of our favorite Olympic-related facts! Sadly, it isn’t the case anymore. Around 5,000 bronze, silver, and gold medals have been awarded overall in recent Games; that is a lot of metal! The weighty first-place medals are now 6 grams of gold instead of being made of solid gold.
10. The current Olympic Games are about more than just winning medals in sports—they’re also about meeting new friends!
While a healthy sense of competition is necessary, the Olympics are also about global cooperation. They’re a fantastic opportunity for people from different nations to connect and get to know one another! Athletes from other sports, religions, countries, and cultures live and work together for the 16 days of competition and frequently depart as excellent friends.