The Olympic Games
The history of the Olympic Games dates back to 776 BC, the year
when the first athletic contest took place in Olympia (in Greece). The
festival was held every four year in the middle of summer and continued for
over 1200 years.
modern Olympics, which were
the idea of Pierre de Coubertin, were started in 1896. Coubertin was a French
aristocrat who wanted to re-establish the games as a championship for amateur
sports people. In 1894, when it first met, the Olympic committee chose Athens as the site of the
first modern Olympics.
At the 1896 games, 12 nations competed in nine different sports.
Since the start, the games have changed considerably and many
memorable events have occurred. At the 1924 games, the Olympic motto citius, altius, fortius (‘faster,
higher, stronger’) was first used. It was also the year when a separate Winter Olympics was first
held. Four years later, when the games were held in Amsterdam, women competed in athletics for
the first time. More recently, at the Sydney 2000 games, the triathlon was held
for the first time and taekwondo, that had been a demonstration sport since the
1988 Olympics, was
introduced as a competitive sport. The 2004 games returned to Athens, the place where it all started.