Olympics is a long-held tradition that sees nations come together for the love of sportsmanship. Learn more about the history of the biggest sporting event in the world right here at Olympics Game 2021.
How the Olympics began
Like many aspects of the world’s history, you can trace the early beginnings of the Olympic games in Ancient Greece in the year 776 BC. The sport we know and love today was traditionally an event held in honour of Zeus, then worshipped as the God of all the Greek gods.
During these ancient times, the games were conducted in Olympia which was largely considered a sacred place in Southern Greece. Representatives from Greece’s city-states would travel to the sacred city every four years, called the Olympiad period, to compete in athletic games such as running, combat, discus, long jump, pentathlon, and equestrian events including chariot racing.
The revival of the Olympic games
The end of the long-held Olympic games was largely due to the rise of the Roman empire and their increasing influence in Greece around 400 AD. However, several attempts to bring back the games were made in France and England during the 1700s and 1800s.
It was in 1890 when the IOC (International Olympics Committee), which was then known as the International Olympics Association, was founded. Through the IOC, a framework for all Olympic games was made, titled the ‘International Olympic Charter’.
With the help of Pierre de Coubertin who put forth the initial proposal to make the Olympics a structured international and multi-sport competition, planning began to revive the games. He was also responsible for creating the iconic Olympics logo which depicts the five multi-coloured and inter-connected rings.
Six years after the establishment of the IOC, the first Olympic games were held in 1896, conducted in Athens in honour of where the beloved sport began. A total of 280 athletes from 14 countries attended the first Olympic games and they competed in 43 events across 9 different sports.
Olympics beyond the borders of Greece
Though there was a strong desire to hold the games in Athens in perpetuity, the IOC promised to conduct the games in Paris during the next Olympiad and it didn’t return to the great city of Athens until the 2004 Summer Olympics.
Participation in the games increased each year since its revival and though the exact numbers of participants during the period are now lost to history, some accounts reveal the 1924 Summer Olympics were held with 44 counties competing in the event.
Additionally, after a twelve-year hiatus during the onset of the second world war, the Olympics returned in 1948 with 59 countries participating. Since then, approximately 20 countries join the event to complete the 206 nations that now compete in the quadrennial event.
The significance of the Olympic games today
Olympics remain to be the biggest sporting event in the whole world today with over 206 nations participating and with over ten thousand athletes competing across 32 sports. It remains a staple tradition that transcends national borders to allow the world to stay connected through sports.
Stay updated on all Olympic sports, news, and events here at Olympics Game 2021. For your next read, learn about the best Olympic host cities in the history of the tournament.