Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Olympic Games

The Olympic Games is an international multi-sport event subdivided into summer and winter sporting events. The summer and winter games are each held every four years (an Olympiad). Until 1992, they were both held in the same year. Since then, they have been separated by a two year gap.

The original Olympic Games were first recorded in 776 BC in Olympia, Greece, and were celebrated until AD 393. Interest in reviving the Olympic Games proper was first shown by the Greek poet and newspaper editor Panagiotis Soutsos in his poem "Dialogue of the Dead" in 1833. Evangelos Zappas sponsored the first modern international Olympic Games in 1859. He paid for the refurbishment of the Panathinaiko Stadium for Games held there in 1870 and 1875. This was noted in newspapers and publications around the world including the London Review, which stated that "the Olympic Games, discontinued for centuries, have recently been revived! Here is strange news indeed ... the classical games of antiquity were revived near Athens".

The International Olympic Committee was founded in 1894 on the initiative of a French nobleman, Pierre Fr├ędy, Baron de Coubertin. The first of the IOC's Olympic Games were the 1896 Summer Olympics, held in Athens, Greece. Participation in the Olympic Games has increased to include athletes from nearly all nations worldwide. With the improvement of satellite communications and global telecasts of the events, the Olympics are consistently gaining supporters. The most recent Summer Olympics were the 2004 Games in Athens and the most recent Winter Olympics were the 2006 Games in Turin. The upcoming games in Beijing are planned to comprise 302 events in 28 sports. As of 2006, the Winter Olympics were competed in 84 events in 7 sports.

Source: Wikipedia

No comments: