As seen in this year’s Olympics in London, the modern Olympics have become one of the biggest special sporting events on the international calendar. But what do we know about these games from a historical point of view?
With more than 200 countries participating, the Olympic Games (both Summer and Winter Games) are held biennially, with the Summer and Winter Olympics alternating every other year. Still, each event (both Summer and Winter Games) only takes place every other year. Place for four years.
The Founding of the Modern Olympics
The first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896 and were inspired by the ancient Olympic sporting events held in Olympia, Greece, from the eighth century BC to the fourth century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin organized the first modern games and founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
However, leading up to the creation of the modern Olympics, there were several short-lived attempts to establish the games before 1896, the most famous of which being:
- The Cotswold Olympic Games, founded in England in 1612
- The Olympiad of the Republic, founded in 1796 in revolutionary France
- Grand Olympic Festival in 1862 in the United Kingdom
Did you know? 4 Olympic Games are being held, the Summer Olympics, the Winter Olympics, the Paralympic Games (held for athletes with physical disabilities), and the Youth Olympic Games (held for the world’s top teenage athletes).
The Rituals and Symbols of the Olympic Games
The Olympics celebrate sporting prowess and include many rituals and symbols that have become familiar in everyday modern life. Take, for example, the ringed symbol of the Olympic Games that represent each of the world’s continents in unity or the iconic Olympic torch used to fan the flames of sporting passion and audacity. Both play an important role in the opening and closing ceremonies of the games, which have become an integral and symbolic ceremony representing everything the modern Olympic Games stand for.
Did you know? While the International Olympic Committee is responsible for choosing the host city for the Olympics, it is entirely up to that city to fund and host the games. This must be done by the Olympic Charter as drafted by the IOC.
The modern Olympics have now grown to a scale that far exceeded the expectations of their founder. They have become part of the world’s sporting ethos and represent all good and honourable in modern sport.
The author is a sports events coordinator at a well-known international Bedouin tent supplier. He has worked in the sports and special events field throughout his career and has extensive experience in manufacturing and supplying branded event tents for major sporting events.