A Mystery on The ancient history of Olympics Games

Brief history of Olympics:

The ancient history of Olympics Games dates back to 3000 years in Greece, which was later revived in the 19th Century, since then it has gained immense popularity and led to build a great sportsman spirit amongst the participants from different countries and in different games to prove their might.

Olympic Games were held every four years from 8th Century BC to the 4th Century AD in Olympia located in Peloponnese peninsula, in the honor of the Greek God Zeus.

The first modern Olympics was held in 1896 in Athens-the capital city of Greece and some of its details are as below:

  • No. of nations participated- 13
  • No. of participants- 280
  • No. of Events- 43

It was since only after 1994, the Olympic Games were split into summer and winter games that are held separately and alternatively after every 2 years.

Ancient Greek Olympic Games

As per the ancient found written record of the ancient Olympic Games that dates to 776 B.C., the first Olympic champion was Coroebus who was a cook, he won a 192-meter footrace called the stade.  However, it is believed that these games were being held from past many years i.e. even before 776 B.C.

After the period 13 Olympiads was over (a period of four years between the Olympic games) two more races events were introduced in Olympics known as the diaulos (roughly equal around 400-meter race), and the Dolichos (a longer race around 1,500-meter or 5,000-meter race).

History of some Games Introduced

PeriodGames Introduced
648 B.C.Pankration, a combination of boxing and wrestling with no virtual rules
680
B.C
Chariot racing
688 B.C.Boxing
708
B.C
Pentathlon was introduced in Olympics which included five events: a foot race, long jump, discus, javelin throw and wrestling match

The participation in the ancient Olympic Games was initially allowed to the freeborn male citizens of Greece, no women’s events were held, and married women were not allowed from attending the competition.

Fall and Revival of the Olympic Tradition

So, since we have already discussed The ancient history of Olympics Games, now let us see the reasons for why Olympics was discontinued in past and how it revived.

The Olympic games continued to exist even after the roman’s conquered the Greece in mid 2nd Century. But it is believed the standard of the games fell during that time.

For example in A.D. 67, the Emperor Nero participated in an Olympic chariot race, and declared himself the winner even after he fell off his chariot during the event.

In A.D. 393,a Christian Emperor Theodosius I, declared a ban on all “pagan” festivals( the festivals that belonged to the other religion), that ended the ancient Olympic tradition after 12 centuries.

It was only after a long period and due to the dedicated efforts of Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France who was passionate for promoting the physical education became inspired by the idea of creating a modern Olympic Games after his visit to the ancient Olympic site.

He proposed this idea in November’1892, at a meeting of the Union des Sports Athlétiques in Paris and due to his continuous efforts two years later, he got the approval to form an International Olympic Committee (IOC), that became the governing body this modern Olympic Games.

Short note on modern Olympic Games

As mentioned earlier as well the first modern Olympics was held in Panathenaic Stadium in the heart of city Athens of Greece, in the year 1896.

The Olympics was inaugurated by King George I (1863-1913) of Greece, the statidum witnessed the crowd of 80000 spectators.

There were 280 participants from 13 nations that participated in 43 events such as track events, field, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, cycling, tennis, weightlifting, shooting and fencing.

All the subsequent Olympiads were numbered even if the event did not take place for example in 1916, during World War I, and in 1940 and 1944, during World War II.

The latest example could be presented of Olympics 2020, the name of the year remains the same this year because the same could not take place last year due to heavy restrictions imposed on movement owing to the Covid-19 pandemic breakout across all the nations.

An international multi sport event where athletes from the commonwealth nations participate

Olympics gained mass popularity and became an international multi sporting event in 1924, when the Games of VIII Olympiad were held in Paris.

Around 3,000 athletes including women (100 women) from 44 nations participated that year, and it was the first time when the closing ceremony was also featured.

The Winter Olympics also debuted in the same year that introduced events as skating, ice hockey, bobsledding and the biathlon.

After Eight decades in 2004 the Summer Olympics returned to Athens for the first time after more than a century, in which around 11,000 athletes from 201 countries participated. As a gesture both ancient & modern Olympic traditions were joined, and the shotput competition that year was held at the historical site in Olympia.

The Symbol: Olympic circle colors meaning

The Symbol of the modern Games includes five interlocking colored rings that represent the continents of North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. It was in 1920 when for the first time The Olympic flag, featuring this symbol on a white background was hoisted at the Antwerp Games in1920.

The ancient history of Olympics Games
The Symbol: Olympic circle colors meaning

The blue ring represents the European continent, the yellow ring represents Asia, the black, green and red represents Africa, Australia and America respectively

Chronological list of Olympic host cities

Now when we are discussing about The ancient history of Olympics Games it is also important to note the details of the places where Olympic games took place in the past.

Summer Olympic Games

  • 1896  Athens, Greece
  • 1900  Paris, France
  • 1904  St. Louis, United States
  • 1908  London, England
  • 1912  Stockholm, Sweden
  • 1916  Cancelled (WWI – Berlin had been awarded)
  • 1920  Antwerp, Belgium
  • 1924  Paris, France
  • 1928  Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 1932  Los Angeles, United States
  • 1936  Berlin, Germany
  • 1940 Cancelled (WWII – Tokyo had been awarded)
  • 1944 Cancelled (WWII – London had been awarded)
  • 1948  London, England
  • 1952  Helsinki, Finland
  • 1956  Melbourne, Australia
  • 1960  Rome, Italy
  • 1964  Tokyo, Japan
  • 1968  Mexico City, Mexico
  • 1972  Munich, West Germany
  • 1976  Montreal, Canada
  • 1980  Moscow, Soviet Union
  • 1984  Los Angeles, United States
  • 1988  Seoul, South Korea
  • 1992  Barcelona, Spain
  • 1996  Atlanta, United States
  • 2000  Sydney, Australia
  • 2004  Athens, Greece
  • 2008  Beijing, China
  • 2012  London, England
  • 2016  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • 2020  Tokyo, Japan (postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic)
  • 2024  Paris, France
  • 2028  Los Angeles, United States

Winter Olympic Games

  • 1924  Chamonix, France
  • 1928  St. Moritz, Switzerland
  • 1932  Lake Placid, United States
  • 1936  Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 1940  Cancelled (WWII – Sapporo had been awarded)
  • 1944  Cancelled (WWII – Cortina d’Ampezzo had been awarded)
  • 1948  St. Moritz, Switzerland
  • 1952  Oslo, Norway
  • 1956  Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
  • 1960  Squaw Valley, United States
  • 1964  Innsbruck, Austria
  • 1968  Grenoble, France
  • 1972  Sapporo, Japan
  • 1976  Innsbruck, Austria
  • 1980  Lake Placid, United States
  • 1984  Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
  • 1988  Calgary, Canada
  • 1992  Albertville, France
  • 1994  Lillehammer, Norway
  • 1998  Nagano, Japan
  • 2002  Salt Lake City, United States
  • 2006  Turin, Italy
  • 2010  Vancouver, Canada
  • 2014  Sochi, Russia
  • 2018  Pyeongchang, South Korea
  • 2022  Beijing, China
  • 2026  Milan – Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

Countries with most Olympic medals

CountryGold MedalsSilver MedalsBronze MedalsTotal Medals
United States11279077932827
United Kingdom274299310883
Germany283282290855
France248276316840
Italy246214241701
Sweden202216234652
China237195176608
Russia195163188546
Norway188174158520
Canada137166198501
Hungary176149173498
Japan156158183497
Finland144148178470
Netherlands130136149415
Switzerland106120119345
South Korea121112104337
Austria82114123319
Romania8995123307
Poland7590141306
Cuba786880226
Bulgaria528983224
Denmark457575195
Belgium415558154
Spain466444154
Ukraine383160129
Brazil303663129
New Zealand462846120
Greece334340116
Kenya313834103
Belarus20324496
Turkey39242891
Czech Republic24283587
South Africa26312986
Jamaica22352178
Argentina21252874
Kazakhstan16243171
Iran19222869
Mexico13243269
North Korea16172356
Ethiopia22112154
Croatia15161344
Azerbaijan7112442
Estonia13111741
Slovenia7132040
Slovakia1216836
Thailand981633
Georgia871732
Uzbekistan961732
Egypt7101532
Indonesia7131232
Ireland9101231
Latvia4141028
Colombia591428
India971228
Mongolia2101426
Lithuania661325
Nigeria3101225
Portugal481224
Taiwan571224
Morocco651223
Trinidad and Tobago351119
Algeria54817
Serbia36615
Venezuela24915
Bahamas62614
Armenia26614
Tunisia42713
Chile27413
Australia34512
Malaysia07411
Liechtenstein22610
Uruguay22610
Philippines03710
Pakistan33410
Puerto Rico1269
Israel1179
Zimbabwe3418
Dominican Republic3227
Uganda2327
Cameroon3126
Qatar0145
Moldova0235
Singapore1225
Iceland0224
Luxembourg1304
Namibia0404
Costa Rica1124
Kyrgyzstan0134
Lebanon0224
Tajikistan1124
Ghana0134
Peru1304
Vietnam1304
Bahrain2103
Panama1023
Hong Kong1113
Syria1113
Ivory Coast1113
Saudi Arabia0123
Grenada1102
Suriname1012
Kuwait0022
United Arab Emirates1012
Haiti0112
Burundi1102
Ecuador1102
Zambia0112
Sri Lanka0202
Niger0112
Mozambique1012
Afghanistan0022
Tanzania0202
Bermuda0011
United States Virgin Islands0101
Tonga0101
Samoa0101
Barbados0011
Montenegro0101
Guyana0011
Fiji1001
Djibouti0011
Cyprus0101
Mauritius0011
Gabon0101
Botswana0101
Eritrea0011
Paraguay0101
Togo0011
Jordan1001
Senegal0101
Guatemala0101
Iraq0011
Sudan0101

Must also read:

Sources of information: How to invest in Bitcoins?

Google.com, Wikipedia, architectureofthegames.net , Thehistory.com, worldpopulationreview.com

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