Olympic Games

Article

May 29, 2022

The Olympic Games are a global multi-sport event with summer and winter disciplines, in which thousands of athletes participate in various competitions. The Games are currently held every two years, in even years, with the Summer and Winter Olympics alternating, although they take place every four years as part of the respective seasonal Games. Originally, the Ancient Olympic Games were held in Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC. to the 5th century AD In the 19th century, Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894. The IOC became the governing body of the Olympic Movement, whose structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter. The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th century forced the IOC to adapt the Games to the world of changing social circumstances. Some of these adjustments included the creation of the Winter Games for ice and snow sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with physical and visual impairments (currently athletes with intellectual and hearing impairments do not participate), and the Youth Olympic Games for adolescent athletes. The IOC also had to accommodate the Games to the different economic, political and technological realities of the 20th century. As a result, the Olympic Games moved away from pure amateurism, as envisioned by Coubertin, to allow the participation of professional athletes. The growing importance of the media has generated the issue of corporate sponsorship and the commercialization of the Games. The Olympic Movement is currently composed of international sports federations, national Olympic committees (NOCs) and organizing commissions for each specificity of the Olympic Games. As the decision-making body, the IOC is responsible for choosing the host city for each edition. The host city is responsible for organizing and funding the celebration of the Games consistent with the Olympic Charter. The Olympic programme, which consists of the sport that will be played at each Olympic Games, is also determined by the IOC. The celebration of the Games encompasses many rituals and symbols, such as the torch and the Olympic flag, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. There are more than 13,000 athletes competing in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, in 33 different sports with around 400 events. The first, second and third place finishers of each event receive Olympic gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively. The Games have grown in scale to the point where nearly every nation is represented. Such growth has created numerous challenges, including boycotts, doping, corruption of public officials and terrorism. Every two years, the Olympic Games and their media exposure provide unknown athletes with the chance to achieve national and, in special cases, international fame. The Games also constitute an important opportunity for the city and the country to promote themselves and show themselves to the world.

Origin and ritual

The Ancient Olympic Games were a series of competitions held between representatives of various city-states of ancient Greece, which mainly featured athletic events, but also combat and chariot races. The origin of these Olympic Games is shrouded in mystery and legend. One of the most popular myths identifies Hercules and his father Zeus as the progenitors of the Games. According to legend, it was Hercules who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of exploring them every four years. Legend persists that after Hercules had completed his twelve labors, he built the Olympic stadium as an honor to Zeus. Upon its completion, he walked in a straight line 200 paces and called this distance a stadium (Greek: στάδιον, Latin: stadium, "stage"), which later became a unit of distance. Or