In 776 B.C., The first recorded Olympic Games took place featuring chariot/horse racing, wrestling, boxing, running, combat, and pentathlon. Women were not admitted. They were held every fourth year until 393 A.D. when an earthquake destroyed Olympia.The first successful attempt to emulate the ancient games was formed in France from 1796 to 1798 during the revolution. Later, in 1850, the English revived them until 1866.
In June of 1890 at the Sorbonne in Paris, the first multinational Olympic Games were planned to take place in Athens in 1896. Demetrius Vikelas was elected as the first president. ( From: (Wikipedia.org)
1928: Games were held in Amsterdam and women participated for the FIRST time. Sonja Henie of Norway won the ice skating championship.
1932: Winter Games held at Lake Placid for the first time.
1964: Olympic Games held in Tokyo. U.S. wins 37 Gold Medals, USSR wins 41
1968: Games in Mexico City. US takes 45 medals USSR gets 29
1976: Held in Montreal 32 Asian and African countries withdraw because of political issues.
1988 Winter games held in S. Korea. Ben Johnson from Canada breaks the 100 meter world record but is disqualified for taking drugs. (From: “The timetables of History the New third revised edition by Bernard grun.)
The 5 intertwined rings of the Olympic symbol represent the five inhabited continents including North and South America as one.
What I find interesting about this process is that the Olympic motto expresses the philosphy that the most important thing is not winning medals but in taking part in the sport. Unfortunately, we don’t hear that very often either from the Olympic Committee or from the participants. Maybe we should focus more on the struggle and challenge of making it to the Olympics than on “who wins what.” It's enjoyable to watch the events regardless of who wins.
I think the atheletes should all get a “participation medal.” Let’s face it, those who perform under such stress are already the "best of the best."
What do you think?
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