SHORT HISTORY OF THE MODERN OLYMPIC GAMES
In 1894, the French nobleman, Pierre de Coubertin founded the governing body of the Olympic movement, named The International Olympic Committee (IOC) that put together the national sporting federations. Participation in the Games has increased to the point that nearly every nation on the Earth is represented. In June 1984, at the IOC first Congress it was decided that the first multinational Olympic Games would take place two years later in Athens. Most of the traditions of the Ancient Olympic Games were kept during these Games. They are displayed in the opening and closing ceremonies and the medal presentations.
Despite the numerous challenges, like political boycotts, the use of drugs, terrorism, the focus remains on the Olympic motto:
"CITIUS, ALTIUS, FORTIUS"
"Faster, higher, stronger"
From the 241 participants representing 14 nations in 1896, the Games have grown to 10,500 competitors from 204 countries at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Paris, 1924 was the start point of the Romanian athletes taking part.
Despite what Coubertin had hoped for, the Olympics did not bring total peace to the world. The Olympic Games were cancelled during the World War II.
The flame has been an Olympic symbol since 1928.
The Olympic mascot, an animal or human figure representing the cultural heritage of the host country, was introduced in 1968 and the torch relay was only introduced in 1936.
The Olympic flag was created in 1913 and adopted in 1914. The five colored rings of the Olympic flag represents the five continents of the world. Since the 1960 Summer Olympics , the Olympic Flag is then carried horizontally into the stadium and hoisted as the Olympic Anthem is played.
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."
Pierre de Coubertin IOC headquarters - Lausanne