History of the Olympic games
The Olympic Games has risen to become a major sporting event that brings together nations across the world.
It is held every four years and different cities play host to the Olympics every year. The last Olympic Games took place in August 2008 in Beijing, China. Initially the ancient Olympic Games were held for only one to five days and many sporting event have been added to the ancient list over the years. The last Olympics lasted for 16 days and involved 28 sporting activities. The ancient Olympic Games were mostly hosted by the wealthy Greek government and the citizens of Greece. But today, this sporting event brings in large sums of money because of the grand scale on which it is conducted. Several sponsors and companies come forth to attach their name with the Olympic Games because of the humungous popularity it has all around the world. There was much controversy involved for the modern Olympic Games. Adolf Hitler tried to use the sporting event as a Nazi propaganda showcase during the Berlin Games of 1936.
The Olympic Games are associated with several iconic images. The most popular of these is the flag of interlocking rings of yellow, blue, black, green and red which is cast high against the sky during the sporting event. The image represents the five areas the globe joined together by the Olympic movement which are Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe. The flag is paraded through the opening and closing ceremonies of every Olympics. The mayor of the current host city has to hand the flag over to the mayor of the next host city during the closing ceremony. The motto of the Olympic Games is “Cituis, Attius, Forius” which mean “Swifter, Higher, Stronger.” The motto was introduced in 1924 and was considered apt to encourage athletes all around the world to embrace the Olympic spirit. The torch was first used in 1928 and it stands as a symbol for continuity between the ancient Olympics and the modern Olympic Games. The torch is lit in Olympia which is the place where the first ancient Olympic Games was held. This lit torch is then carried to the host city and is kept there until the Olympic Games are concluded.
Initially, athletes who were amateurs were only allowed to take part in the Olympics. However, this trend slowly started to change in the 1980’s. In 1912, during the Belgium Olympic Games, an American athlete Jim Thorpe won the gold medals for the pentathlon and the decathlon. However, his titles were taken away from him when people got to know that he had played professional baseball before entering the Olympics. His title was re-instated to him after 69 years after this rule was removed. His gold medals and achievements were handed over to his children.