History Of Olympics

History of the Olympics
  • The Olympic Games are said to have originated in the ancient Greek civilization.
  • The first recorded and documented Olympic Games were held in 776 BC.
  • A runner named Coroebus was the first person to receive an Olympic championship.
  • Even in ancient times, Olympic Games were held once in four years.
  • They were abolished for 1200 years by Roman Catholic rulers.
  • The Olympic Games were revived in 1896 due to the persistent efforts of a Frenchman.

Modern Olympic Games:

  • The very first modern Olympic Games were held in April 1896.
  • The events took place at a renovated Panathenaic Stadium.
  • 300 athletes from 13 countries participated in the 1896 Olympics.

Some of the sports included at the first Olympic Games were:

  Summer Olympics Games
  Winter Olympics Games
  Paralympics Games
  Youth Olympics Games
  • Pole vaulting, sprints
  • Shot put
  • Weight lifting
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Target shooting
  • Tennis
  • Marathon
  • Gymnastics

Host Countries for Olympics:

Since the first Olympic Games in Athens, the following countries have hosted the games:

  • 1896 Olympic Games - Athens
  • 1900 Olympic Games - Paris
  • 1904 Olympic Games - St. Louis
  • 1908 Olympic Games - London
  • 1912 Olympic Games - Stockholm
  • 1916 Olympic Games - Not held
  • 1920 Olympic Games - Antwerp
  • 1924 Olympic Games - Paris
  • 1928 Olympic Games - Amsterdam
  • 1932 Olympic Games - Los Angeles
  • 1936 Olympic Games - Berlin
  • 1940 Olympic Games - Not held
  • 1944 Olympic Games - Not held
  • 1948 Olympic Games - London
  • 1952 Olympic Games - Helsinki
  • 1956 Olympic Games - Melbourne
  • 1960 Olympic Games - Rome
  • 1964 Olympic Games - Tokyo
  • 1968 Olympic Games - Mexico City
  • 1972 Olympic Games - Munich
  • 1976 Olympic Games - Montreal
  • 1980 Olympic Games - Moscow
  • 1984 Olympic Games - Los Angeles
  • 1988 Olympic Games - Seoul
  • 1992 Olympic Games - Barcelona
  • 1996 Olympic Games - Atlanta
  • 2000 Olympic Games – Sydney

History of Athletic Events Added to the Olympic Games

The events of the Olympic Games were added to the program in the following chronological order:

Year Olympiad Event
776 BC 1st Olympiad Stadium race
724 BC 14th Olympiad double-stadium race
720 BC 15th Olympiad long-distance race
708 BC 18th Olympiad Pentathlon
708 BC 18th Olympiad Wrestling
688 BC 23rd Olympiad Boxing
680 BC 25th Olympiad 4-horse chariot race
648 BC 33rd Olympiad horse race
648 BC 33rd Olympiad Pentathlon
520 BC 65th Olympiad race in armor
408 BC 93rd Olympiad 2-horse chariot race


Modern Olympic Games Purpose:

The Olympic Games are intended to promote the concept of “sound mind in a sound body”.

  • The Olympic Games event also helps in building trust and friendship between nations.
Olympic Summer Sports:

Olympic summer sports include:

  • Archery
  • Basketball
  • Boxing
  • Canoeing
  • Cycling
  • Equestrian Events (Horseback Riding)
  • Fencing
  • Field Hockey
  • Gymnastics
  • Handball
  • Judo
  • Rowing
  • Shooting
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track And Field Events
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Weight Lifting
  • Wrestling
  • Yachting
Olympic Winter Sports:

Olympic winter sports include:

  • Skating
  • Skiing
  • Bobsledding
  • Lunge
  • Tobogganing
  • Ice Hockey
  • Biathlon (Skiing-Shooting)
The Decathlon
  • The Decathlon involves ten different sporting events.
  • These may be running, jumping or sporting events.
  • Whoever has the grandest total is awarded the championship.
The Pentathlon:
  • The Pentathlon consists of five events.
  • It was discontinued form 1924-1948.
  • It includes the five military skills- fencing, riding, shooting and swimming.

Women’s Olympic Events:

Summer and winter events are held separately for women.

Women’s events include:
  • Marathon
  • Cycling
  • Heptathlon- hurdles, throws and races
  • Biathlon- walk, baseball and Judo.

Important Landmarks in Olympic History:

  • 1896: United States track and field team won nine out of twelve events.
  • 1912: A Native American, Jim Thorpe, won the Decathlon and the Pentathlon in the same year.
  • 1936: Jesse Owens won four gold medals including a team medal.
  • Fanny Blinkers- Koen of The Netherlands was the first woman to win three individual gold medals.
  • The first athletes to win the decathlon twice were Bob Mathias of the United States, in 1948 and 1952, and Daley Thompson of Great Britain, in 1980 and 1984.
  • 1976: Nadia Comaneci of Romania scored a perfect 10.00 in gymnastics and got seven perfect scores and three gold medals.
  • 1964: Linda Skoblikova from Russia became the first speed skater to win four individual gold medals.
  • 1972: American swimmer Mark Spitz won seven gold medals in a single year.
  • The all-time individual medal winner was the American track athlete Ray C. Ewry, who won eight events in the 1900, 1904, and 1908 Games.
  • 1972: 11 Olympic team members were killed in terrorist attacks in Munich, West Germany.
  • Due to boycott by 30 African nations, 1976 Olympics in Montreal were called off.
  • 1988: Drug related controversies came to light as many athletes were charged with steroid abused. Some were even suspended from the games.
  • 1992: There were no Soviet teams as the Soviet Union had split up.

International Olympic Committee:

International Olympic Committee (IOC) is in charge of the development and organization of the games.

  • The International Olympic Committee was founded in Paris in 1894.
  • Its headquarters for International Olympic Committee are in Lausanne, Switzerland.
  • The International Olympic Committee (IOC) comprises of about 70 members today.
  • The members of International Olympic Committee are responsible for promoting new talent form their respective countries.
  • There are only one member from each country in International Olympic Committee.
  • Every participating nation must have its own National Olympic Committee
  • There are 167 National Committees at present.

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