Breaking News

Olympics: Mother of all sporting events

Hey Readers! Today (8 August 2021) being the last day of Tokyo Olympics 2020 I would like to share the history of the Olympic Games, some unknown and interesting facts about it and is it really worth hosting them? Click the button at the end of the post to listen to the article!

Introduction to the Olympics :

The Olympic Games, which date back as far as 3,000 years ago in ancient Greece, were resurrected in the late 19th century and have since become the world’s most prestigious sporting competition. The Games were held every four years in Olympia, located in the western Peloponnese peninsula, from the eighth century B.C. to the fourth century A.D., in honour of the god Zeus. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens in 1896, with 280 athletes from 12 countries competing in 43 events. Since 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games have switched every two years and have been staged separately.

In 1896, the first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece. 280 athletes from 12 nations (all male) competed in 43 events, including track and field, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling, cycling, tennis, weightlifting, shooting, and fencing, in front of King Georgios I and an audience of 60,000 people at the opening ceremony.

History of Olympic Games :

Picture Source: Wikipedia.org

The first written records of the ancient Olympic Games originate from 776 B.C., when a chef named Coroebus became the first Olympic champion by winning the lone event, a 192-meter footrace known as the stade (the origin of the current “stadium”). However, it is widely assumed that the Games had already been going on for several years at that point. According to legend, Heracles (the Roman Hercules), the son of Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene, started the Games, which had become the most famous of all Greek sporting events by the end of the 6th century B.C.

Every four years, between August 6 and September 19, the ancient Olympics were staged at a religious festival honouring Zeus. The Games were named after Olympia, a sacred site at the western shore of the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece, where they were held. Their effect was so enormous that ancient historians began to count time in four-year increments between Olympic Games, dubbed Olympiads.

After 13 Olympiads, two more races, the diaulos (approximately equivalent to today’s 400-meter race) and the dolichos, were added to the stade as Olympic events (a longer-distance race, possibly comparable to the 1,500-meter or 5,000-meter event). In 708 B.C., the pentathlon (five events: a foot race, a long jump, discus and javelin throws, and a wrestling match), boxing in 688 B.C., and chariot racing in 680 B.C. were introduced. Pankration, a mix of boxing and wrestling with few regulations, was first introduced as an Olympic event in 648 B.C. The ancient Olympic Games were initially only open to freeborn male Greek citizens; there were no women’s events, and married women were barred from competing.

Some interesting and unknown facts of the Olympics that you might not be familiar with

  • Gold medals are mostly made of silver

Despite common perception, the Gold Medal has not been made of pure gold since the 1912 Olympics. The modern Olympic Gold Medal is an imposter, manufactured almost entirely of silver with around 6 grammes of gold to match the Olympic Charter’s requirements. 80,000 kg of discarded electronics were used to create the medals for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Based on current market pricing, the gold medal from the Tokyo Olympics weighs around 556 grammes, which means an Olympic medal made of pure gold would cost over $32,000.

  • The Olympic Torch Relay is not an ancient tradition

The origins of the Torch Relay can be traced back to the controversial 1936 Berlin Olympics. The relay was devised by Carl Diem, Chief Organizer of the Olympic Games, as a propaganda tool for the Nazi Party to demonstrate the claimed superiority of the Aryan race. Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, and Czechoslovakia were all conquered by Nazi Germany within ten years of the relay’s completion.

  • Only three modern Olympic Games have been canceled

The games were cancelled due to World War I (1916) and World War II (1940, 1944).

  • At least one of the Olympic Rings’ colors appears in every national flag

The five-ringed sign was created by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the creator of the modern Olympic Movement. He chose the various colours—blue, green, yellow, black, and red—because at least one of them appears on every national flag throughout the world.

  • Female athletes compete for the first time

Women competed in Olympic events for the first time at the 1900 Games in Paris, when 22 women competed out of a total of 997 athletes. They could only compete in five sports at the time: tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrianism, and golf. Thankfully, a great deal has changed since then. Women competed in all sports on the Olympic programme for the first time in the 2012 Games in London, and every new sport added to the Olympic programme must have female participants.

Picture Source: britannica.org
  • Terror in Munich

The Olympics are generally linked with international cooperation and camaraderie, but that image was shattered in Munich in 1972 when Palestinian terrorist group Black September kidnapped and killed 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team (a German policeman was also killed). After jumping the Olympic Village barrier, the heavily armed attackers used stolen keys to gain entry to the Israelis’ apartments. After killing two of the athletes, the remaining nine were kidnapped and slain after various rescue attempts failed.

  • THE TRADITION OF BITING OLYMPIC MEDALS

Have you ever noticed Olympians biting their medals at an awards ceremony and wondered why? It all goes back to the days when merchants would double-check that a coin had the precious metal they needed and wasn’t a fake made of lead. A gold coin will not leave tooth marks, however, a lead coin will. Olympic medals aren’t composed of gold; they’re just plated with it. In today’s world, they are typically made of silver. The 1904 Olympic Games were the last time they were totally made of gold.

  • A 1500-YEAR HIATUS

The first Olympic Games, held in Olympia from 776 BC to 392 AD, were held every four years in conjunction with a festival honouring the Greek god Zeus, just as they are today. The Ancient Greeks also had three more god-related games, Apollo, Elis, and Poseiden, each of which included a tournament. In 392 AD, in an attempt to rid his kingdom of paganism, Roman Emperor Theodosius banned the Olympics in favour of the universal embrace of Christianity. It took an incredible 1503 years for the Olympics to return. The modern Olympics were born and took place in Athens in 1896, thanks to Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

  • WINNERS ARE ENGRAVED ON THE STADIUM WALLS

Medalists are not only entered into their country’s and Olympic histories but they are also honoured at the Olympic stadium where the event is being held at the time. Their names are carved on the stadium’s walls, leaving a permanent record of their accomplishments.

  • Sydney, 2000: North and South Korea unite

North and South Korea marched together for the first time in Sydney’s opening ceremony, in a fleeting moment of unity. Instead of carrying their own national flags, the North and South Korean teams (who were dressed identically) joined hands and waved a unity banner with a blue map of Korea.

  • African nations boycott 1976 Games

Outraged that New Zealand, whose rugby squad had visited South Africa earlier in the year despite the country’s apartheid regime, was allowed to compete in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, 25 African countries organised a boycott. The boycott was also joined by Iraq and Guyana. “The government and the people of Kenya maintain the opinion that ideas are more valuable than medals,” stated Kenya’s foreign minister at the time, James Osogo, in a statement. Meanwhile, due to its apartheid laws, South Africa had been barred from sending a team to the Olympics since 1964. The ‘76 Olympics boycott would not be the last; in 1980, US athletes boycotted the Olympics in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Picture Source: apnews.com
  • THE OLYMPIC FLAME IS ALWAYS LIT

It’s travelled around the world, on Concorde, through twisting rivers, and even into space, and it’s almost weatherproof. It can resist high temperatures and up to 50 mph winds, and it has never failed over its long relays around the world. A spare torch, lighted from the mother flame in Athens, is never more than 30 seconds distant if it is required.

  • THE FIRST PARALYMPICS

In 1960, the first Paralympic Games were held in Rome, with the goal of allowing war veterans to compete and recuperate. There had been cases in the past were physically challenged athletes competed in the Olympics. In the 1904 Olympics, Olympic gymnast George Eyser won six medals despite having a wooden leg. People with a variety of disabilities now have the opportunity to compete in the Paralympics. Ibrahim Hamato created history in 2014 when he won the world championship in table tennis despite the fact that he had no arms and had to play with the racket in his mouth.

  • Beijing, 2008: Phelps takes most gold ever

In the medley relay event at the Beijing Olympics, champion American swimmer Michael Phelps and his colleagues broke a new world record, giving Phelps his eighth gold medal (the most in a single Olympic Games) and pushing him over his predecessor, Mark Spitz. Phelps had nothing but humble comments for his audience after winning his seventh medal: “Records are meant to be broken no matter what they are.”

  • Russians banned from participating in Tokyo Olympics

 Russia has been stripped of its main distinguishing symbols, such as a flag and a national song, as a result of a doping scandal. In reality, Russia is not officially competing in Tokyo as a country. Its athletes compete for the Russian Olympic Committee or ROC. After the World Anti-Doping Agency declared Russia guilty of conducting a state-sponsored doping programme, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland banned Russia from international sports until the end of 2022. Under severe guidelines, Russian competitors were allowed to compete in Tokyo.

  • The “Dirtiest Race”

Because of drug use by athletes, the 100-meter event at the 1988 Seoul Olympics was dubbed the “dirtiest race.” After testing positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson was deprived of his gold medal just days later. Johnson later stated that if everyone else was using drugs, it wasn’t truly cheating. Johnson had a point, even if it wasn’t the most compelling argument. His gold medal was awarded to Carl Lewis, a second-place finisher who had tested positive for illegal stimulants at the US Olympic trials that year but had escaped punishment. Linford Christie of the United Kingdom, who was upgraded to silver, tested positive for pseudoephedrine but was later cleared by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after he blamed the test result on ginseng tea.

Picture Source: runnerprogram.com

IS HOSTING THE OLYMPICS A PRIVILEGE OR INCONVENIENCE?

How hosting the Olympics benefits the hosting city and country

  • The city experiences the Olympics’ positive values

The contemporary Olympic Games honour ancient Greek civilisation, which is regarded as the cradle of Western civilization, including liberal values. The Olympics honour history as well as the ideals of liberty, equality, globalism, and peace. Because the Olympics are about this spirit — not about money — promoting these values should take precedence over money when it comes to hosting. A host city is given the distinction of not only identifying and supporting these ideas, but also of promoting them locally and globally. Even when the Olympic Games are over, the atmosphere will remain upbeat.

  • The Olympics help promote sports and health in the host country

Sport is a crucial social institution. They educate values while promoting identity and attachment to society. Sports also foster a healthy society: a mountain of scientific evidence demonstrates that participating in sports might help people avoid chronic diseases and live longer. The Olympics encourage people to participate in sports in the host city and country. Athletes who are normally obscure are thrust into the spotlight, become well-known, and can even become national heroes during the Olympics. This may inspire local children and athletes to pursue their sporting goals. Furthermore, hosting the Olympics raises the profile of sports and encourages people to participate in them – not to mention the new (or rebuilt) sporting facilities that will be available for local use after the Games. The sum of these elements has a long-term positive impact on the host city. As a result, on a local and national level, hosting the Olympics helps to a more sports-oriented and healthier society.

Hosting the Olympics doesn’t benefit the hosting city and country

  • The Olympics are not economical

It requires money to prepare for the Olympics. A substantial sum of money. Developing and improving infrastructure, such as motorways, airports, and sports complexes costs billions of dollars. The Olympics are rarely deemed lucrative, despite the massive expenditure that benefits local citizens. As a result, a major question arises: Would the money spent on preparing for the Olympics have benefited local citizens even more if it had been invested differently? Some argue that investing in social issues like education and health care is a more effective approach to promote and attain the common good.

  • Hosting the Olympics doesn’t enhance a country`s reputation

One of the biggest benefits of hosting the Olympic Games is the tremendous amount of attention it brings to a possible host city and country. However, this focus can be beneficial in both directions: Unexpected occurrences and wrongdoing can seriously harm the host city’s and country’s reputations. A man in a ski mask, for example, is a lasting picture of the 1972 Munich Olympics. Furthermore, the 2004 Olympic Games in Greece (which were a financial disaster) are depicted as the primary cause of the country’s ongoing economic catastrophe. According to recent studies, hosting the Olympics has little, if any, impact on a country’s reputation. Following the Olympics, Australian academics discovered a minimal change in attitudes toward the country.

Picture Source: Instagram
  • Challenges the city faces

The Olympics can put a strain on the citizens of the host city’s daily lives. First, there is a persistent security danger hovering over the city, necessitating large-scale security preparations, including military power, which frequently augments the Olympic security force. The presence of armed soldiers in the city might elicit negative emotions and even anxiety among certain inhabitants. Second, when the coronavirus isn’t an issue, the host city during the Olympic Games is usually filled with visitors. The presence of many more people in public settings makes it less comfortable for natives. There’s also the issue of traffic – visitors and residents alike travel a great deal between sports grounds, causing public transportation to become overcrowded.

I hope youll know found this post interesting as well as knowledgeable! Let me know in the comments. Stay tuned for the upcoming posts!

This information is correct and factual to the best of the author’s knowledge, but it is not intended to replace formal, customized advice from a competent professional. This content is not plagiarized, and it is not intended to offend anyone’s feelings.

8 thoughts on “Olympics: Mother of all sporting events

  1. Awesome. Very detailed information.
    Many facts has really increased my knowledge about Olympics.

Comments are closed.