About:The Olympic Games are the leading international sporting event and considered to be the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart. Over 13,000 athletes compete at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games in 33 different sports and nearly 400 events. The first, second, and third-place finishers in each event receive Olympic medals: gold, silver, and bronze, respectively.
The origin of the Olympics is shrouded in mystery and legend. The Ancient Olympic Games were religious and athletic festivals held every four years at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, Greece. Competition was among representatives of several city-states and kingdoms of Ancient Greece.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority.
Evolution and Issues:
The evolution of the Olympic Movement has been through the creation of the Winter Olympic Games for ice and winter sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with a disability, and the Youth Olympic Games for teenage athletes.
The Games have grown so much that nearly every nation is now represented.
This growth has created numerous challenges and controversies, including boycotts, doping, bribery, and a terrorist attack in 1972.
The growing importance of mass media created the issue of corporate sponsorship and commercialization of the Games.
World wars led to the cancellation of the 1916, 1940, and 1944 Games. Large boycotts during the Cold War limited participation in the 1980 and 1984 Games.
Every two years the Olympics and its media exposure provide unknown athletes with the chance to attain national and sometimes international fame.
The Games also constitute an opportunity for the host city and country to showcase themselves to the world. Host cities continue to compete ardently for the right to host the Games, even though there is no certainty that they will earn back their investments.
Research has shown that trade is around 30 percent higher for countries that have hosted the Olympics.
Symbol:The Olympic symbol, better known as the Olympic rings, consists of five intertwined rings and represents the unity of the five inhabited continents (Africa,America, Asia, Oceania, Europe). The colored version of the rings—blue, yellow, black, green, and red—over a white field forms the Olympic flag. These colors were chosen because every nation had at least one of them on its national flag. The flag was adopted in 1914 but flown for the first time only at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. It has since been hoisted during each celebration of the Games.
The Olympic motto, Citius, Altius, Fortius, a Latin expression meaning "Faster, Higher, Stronger" was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894 and has been official since 1924. The motto was coined by Coubertin's friend the Dominican priest Henri Didon OP, for a Paris youth gathering of 1891.
Coubertin's Olympic ideals are expressed in the Olympic creed:
The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.
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