History of the Olympics
The first Olympic Games were in ancient Greece, the games were held every four years. They were abolished in the early Christian era. The very first Olympics also featured music, oratory, and theater performance. They were one of the ways ancient Greeks saluted the gods. The modern Olympics are more competitive and more athletic, but they still have friendly competition. Ancient games were held in honor of Zeus. The Greeks thought all wars would stop during the contests.
The first Olympics had only one athletic event, a foot race about 183 meters long. Only one race was held per day, and only men could compete. The 18th Olympics had MANY more sports; including running, jumping, spear (javelin) throwing, discus throwing, and wrestling. In the 23rd Olympics boxing was added. Many royal people started to compete for personal gain, especially in chariot races. People were starting to be glorified as gods. The Olympics ended because the roman emperor Theodosius I, thought that the people needed to worship the gods more and not worship people.
The Olympics started again in 1896; they continued to be held every fourth year except during World War 1 and World War 2. Because in the late 1800’s a French man felt that he could bring back the Olympics. In 1982 he addressed the Union des Sports Athletiques in Paris France. The sports council finally gave in on June 16th 1894. The council members agreed that the first modern Olympics would be held in Athens, Greece. They also agreed that every four years the Olympics would move to great cities across the earth.
Some of the modern sports are basketball, boxing, canoeing and kayaking, cycling, equestrian arts (riding), fencing, field hockey, gymnastics, modern pentathlon, rowing, shooting, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, weight lifting, wrestling (freestyle and Greco-Roman), and yachting. New sports are added to the roster at almost every Olympic Games; among the more prominent are baseball, martial arts, and most recently the triathlon, which was first contested at the 2000 Games.
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