Interesting facts about the Olympics and its history

The Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo will start on July 23, 2021, exactly a year later than scheduled.

Only three times in history the event was cancelled, but never postponed or moved to a new date.

With more than 11 000 athletes in their different sporting codes it has impeccable results.

Tokyo organisers have now set a new time frame with the opening ceremony on July 23, 2021, and the closing on August 24, 2021.

The Paralympic Games will start on August 24 to September 5, 2021.

Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, informed sports federations on a conference call before the announcement that the date was set to give organisers the maximum time to deal with the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

How did the Olympics start and when?

The Olympics ritual Games described by Homer, in the Iliad, took pale at Patroclus funeral 1100BC.

In Greece a number of similar celebrations took place and became noticeable important. A list of champions from the year 776BC exists.

At first, the Games was concluded in one day and a single event, a running race of some 210 yards.

It was then extended to five days and two more for religious observances.

The programme included four running events, one stadium dash, a race over two lengths of the stadium, a long distance race some 2 2/3 (two thirds) miles and a race in armour.

Combat sports included boxing, pankration, a no holds barred event, also a chariots race for quadrigas, a chariot drawn by four horses, and a pentathlon, five events, a long jump, javelin, discus and sprint. The fifth is uncertain, but it was said it was wrestling.

In Greece, the Olympics were a religious event.

The Games took place at Olympia and the competitors and spectators had to be male free-born Greeks.

After the Roman Emperors, Nero entered and was allowed to win the chariot race in AD393, the Olympic Games were abolished by a decree from the emperor Theodosius and in the fifth century the buildings were demolished.

The Modern OlympicsIn the 19th century, archaeologists began excavating the temple of Zeus and between 1875 and 1881 most of it was uncovered.

The Frenchman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937) revived the Greek Olympic Games.

One of his reasons being the flowering of Greece during the “Golden Age” was sport and the ideas of the Olympic Games.

He saw a parallel in the stature of the 19th century Britain in the games played at the public schools.

The new Olympic Games could be a period of concord.

He summoned an international meeting in Sorbonne in Pare in 1894 and two years later his ideas formed the first celebration of the modern Olympic Games.

In 1894 he also formed the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC awards the Games to a city and a country.

The Olympics are held in the first year of the Olympiad, which is a four year period divisible by four, 1968 or 2020, thus they can’t be postponed.

The first modern Olympics were held in 1896 and were held all over the world.

The Games were to be universal.

In 1904 it went to America, St Louis, but the Greeks wanted to keep it in Greece thus in 1906 an interim Games was held in Athens as an intercalated celebration.

The 1900 and 1904 Games were told to held trade fairs and this detracted it from its importance.

In 1908 the London Games was set to be the prototype of all Games in future.

The first women to compete were in 1900 in tennis and golf.

But in 1912 at Stockholm swimming was included.

World War I led to the cancellation of the 1916 Games.

In 1928 in Amsterdam athletic events were part of the programme for women.

In 1924 the Winter Olympics took place in Chamonix.

Before 1932 only one Games were held outside Europe, but in this year both Summer and Winter Games took place in Lake Placid, New York and the full Games in Los Angles.

In 1936 it was held in Berlin, Germany as a shop window for the Germans and thereafter the Games were to become politics free.

No Games were held during World War II, thus 1940 and 1944 scheduled for Tokyo and Helsinki were cancelled.

After 12 years the Games were held in London.

In 1956 the Games were held in Mexico, the first time not in Europe or America.

But Australia had strict equestrian laws and those events were held in Stockholm, the first time the Games were separated.

In 1964 the Games were held in Tokyo and of course, in 2020 it was allocated to Tokyo as well.

August 18, 1964: South Africa was banned from the Tokyo Olympics over the apartheid regime.

The country was only allowed back to compete in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona in July.

At the Munich Games in 1972 in Germany, the taking of hostages of the Israeli team members by Palestinian guerrillas are well known.

Boycotts during the Cold War limited participation in the 1980 and 1984 at the Games.

Several changes took place over the years and during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Some of these adjustments include the creation of the Winter Olympic Games for snow and ice sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with a disability, the Youth Olympic Games for athletes aged 14 to 18, the five Continental games (Pan American, African, Asian, European, and Pacific), and the World Games for sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games.

The Deaflympics and Special Olympics are also endorsed by the IOC.

Above is only but a summery to tell the story of the Olympic Games and how it evolved from the Ancient to the Modern times.

Credit: The Story of the Olympic Games: Edited by Martin TylerWikipedia

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