Olympics

Article

July 5, 2022

The Olympic Games (OS) are an international sports event. The first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896, inspired by the ancient Greek event of the same name. Since 1924, there have been two versions, the Summer Games and the Winter Games, each every four years. Thousands of athletes participate in a variety of sports. More than a year and a half after the Summer Games, in the second calendar year after that, the Winter Games are always held, so it takes just under two and a half years until the next Summer Games. Until 1992, both the Summer and Winter Games were held in the same year. The philosophy behind 'the Games' is propagated by the 'Olympic Movement'. That movement includes the international sports federations, the National Olympic Committees and the organizer of the Games. The International Olympic Committee is responsible for choosing the host city and the Olympic program. During an IOC meeting, the location / organizer is always chosen from a few candidates seven years in advance, in other words: in the year after the Games, the organizer is chosen for the edition after the next edition of the Games. The organization of the Games is responsible for adhering to the Olympic rules, which are described in the Olympic Charter. There are some symbols and rituals associated with the organization of the Olympic Games, including the Olympic flag and the Olympic flame.

Antiquity

The original Olympic Games were held in the ancient Greek city of Olympia. This city had been inhabited since the 10th century BC. a religious and political meeting place. Around the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 1st millennium BC. the Elians came from the north to the Greek peninsula we now call the Peloponnese. They settled in the vicinity of Olympia, which was then under the rule of the Pisans. Around the 6th century BC. the first quarrels broke out between them. That led to war. The new immigrants probably dedicated the place to the supreme god Zeus and named him Olympia, in memory of Mount Olympos in Thessaly. However, the first Games were held in honor of Pelops, after his victory in the races over Oinomaos, king of Pisatis. Pelops was also the namesake of the Peloponnese. The following Games were held in honor of Zeus. Since 776 BC. the names of the victors were recorded; this year was regarded as the beginning of the Olympiads and was also the basis of the Greek calendar. Although the Games were originally held on the fields in front of the temple, as the Games grew, more and more were built for the Games. Ultimately, Olympia was home to a stadium that could accommodate 40,000 spectators. The Olympic Games, held here every four years, were one of the four Panhellenic Games (public festivals for all Greeks of the Poleis who also worshiped the gods). The aim of those Olympics was to let young men show their physical qualities and to promote the relationship between the different Greek cities. Only Greek men were allowed to participate in the Games, no women. Gradually, the Romans took over in Greece and the Games were considered less important. When Christianity became the official religion of the Romans, the Games were seen as a pagan festival. The Roman Emperor Theodosius I finally banned the Games in 393.

Temples and buildings

Olympia, at the foot of the wooded Kronos Hill and bordered by the rivers Alfeios and Kladeios, was a sanctuary, the oldest and most important of antiquity. In the seventh century BC, the tombs of Pelops and Hippodameia were still found in Olympia. There was also a column left over from the palace of Oinomaos, which at least according to mythology had been destroyed by a thunderbolt from the supreme god Zeus. Gradually rose a n