have heard about the Olympic games and most of us have even witnessed
this event either in the country where it is held in that particular
year, or at home via the television. But has one ever wondered how
the Olympics came about? How was it carried out in the past?
every four years, Athenians and other Greeks took part in the Olympic
Games, held at Olympia in the northwest Peloponnesus, in honour
of the god Zeus. Here the Greeks turned their physical exercise
into competitive sport. Thus, they were the first people in the
world to play organized games. The Olympic Games were first recorded
in the year 776 B.C., so by the Classical Period, they were well
established, with participants and spectators -- all male -- coming
from all over the Greek world. Women were excluded from watching.
the period in which the games were held, a truce was called. All
civil wars stopped long enough for the athletes and the audience
to attend the games and get back home before fighting resumed. Games
included chariot races, boxing, wrestling, foot racing, discus and
javelin throwing, and long jumping. The all-around athletes usually
entered the pentathlon -- a contest of five different track and
prizes were simple crowns of wild olive leaves. However, once the
winner got home, he was a star. He was invited to luxurious parties,
gazed at in public, sometimes even freed from paying taxes or given
a pension. Poems were sung in his honour. Not only did the individual
winners benefit from the Olympic games, but sometimes the city-states
did as well. For, if athletes from a particular city-state won several
victories, competitors might well assume that the other men from
that city-state were equally powerful fighters. Thus, the games
could be used as a type of military propaganda.
there are two sets of Olympic games: the Winter Games and the Summer
Games. Summer sports consist of archery, basketball, boxing, canoeing,
cycling, equestrian events (horseback riding), fencing, field hockey,
gymnastics, handball, judo, rowing, shooting, soccer, swimming,
tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, weight lifting,
wrestling, and yachting. Winter events include skating, skiing,
bobsledding, luge, tobogganing, ice hockey, and the biathlon (skiing-shooting).
Summer and Winter Games were carried out separately and not within
the same calendar year. For instance, the Winter Games started in
1994 and every four years thereafter, while the Summer Games began
in 1996, and every four years thereafter. Countries take turn to
host the Olympic Games. For instance, the Summer Olympics would
be held at Sidney, Australia this year.
all over the world, both male and female alike, are allowed to take
part in these international competitions, unlike in the past where
only the males were allowed to. The prizes that the winners receive
today seem to be far better than in the past - winners take home
gold, silver or bronze medals and huge sums of money. In addition,
they bring honour and pride to their countries. So, what are the
purposes of the Olympic games? They are to bring forth the idea
that it is to develop a "sound mind in a sound body" and also to
foster ties among nations. Why are they are widely enjoyed by people
all over the globe? What's so interesting and meaningful about the
Games was a competition of mental and physical prowness.
Olympic games was truly a magnificent event and wars were even stopped
to allow the athletes to participate in the Games!