The Olympic Games

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The Olympic Games

The Olympic Games

The Olympic Logo, was first Seen on a Flag in Antwerp, 1920

Historically, the Olympic Games go back as far as the Ancient Greeks, who held the games as part of their religious festival in honour of their gods, particularly Zeus, the king of the gods.

Events at these games included running - where all races were based on 200 metres, boxing, chariot racing, wrestling, pancratium - a combination of wrestling and boxing and the pentathlon - broad jump, spear throwing, sprint and discus throwing. Two men met in the final event for wrestling.

These games were abolished in AD 393 because the Romans saw them as a pagan festival.

Pierre de Coubertin is recognised as the founder of the Modern Olympic Games who, while visiting England attended the Wenlock Games and this inspired him to revive the Olympic Games

The Olympic Games

As a result the first Modern Games took place in Athens in 1896.

Since 1896 the games have followed a four-year cycle that was broken in 1914, 1918, 1940 and 1944 because of the First and Second World Wars.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC).

The IOC is the organising body for the Olympic Games with the responsibility for

  1. Selecting the venue for both summer and winter Games
  2. Deciding which sports should be included in the games.
  3. Working with the host city and country in the planning of the games.

The Olympic Games Since 1896.

Each Olympic game has its own signature by which it can be remembered.

Athens 1896.

The first marathon to be run in the Modern Games was won by a Greek.

The Olympic Games

Paris 1900.

Poor public attendance due to other major attractions and poor organisation.

St Louis 1904.

The marathon winner Horz was disqualified for taking a lift in a car.

London 1908.

Sets of rules were drawn up for these games and metric measurements were used.

Stockholm 1912.

Women took part in swimming for the first time.

The American Jim Thorpe, winner of the decathlon and pentathlon was disqualified because it was discovered that he had received money for playing basketball and was therefore a professional athlete.

The Olympic Games

Antwerp 1920.

Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey were banned from these games because of their involvement in the War.

Paris 1924.

The banned teams apart from Germany were allowed to take part and the first winter games were held in Chamonix.

Amsterdam 1928.

Additional events allowed women to take part in athletics and gymnastics.

Los Angeles 1932.

A dedicated village was made available for the competitors and photo finish was installed for track events.

Berlin 1936.

Hitler attempted to use these games as a huge propaganda exercise but this was destroyed when Jesse Owens a black athlete from the USA, won four gold medals.

The Olympic Games

The Olympic flame was brought by torch for the first time and the events were televised.

London 1948.

Germany, Japan and the former Soviet Union did not take part.

Helsinki 1952.

Germany was excluded and the East - West rivalry began.

Melbourne 1956.

These games were disrupted because of world politics with Egypt and Lebanon withdrawing because of the Suez crisis. Spain, Holland and Switzerland withdrew because of the invasion of Hungary by the former Soviet Union and China withdrew because Taiwan, previously part of China, entered a team. Germany was re-admitted.

Rome 1960.

A Danish cyclist died after using drugs and South Africa had an all white team.

The Olympic Games

Tokyo 1964.

South Africa was banned because of the apartheid situation.

Mexico City 1968.

Mexico was a controversial venue because of it's altitude.

200 demonstrators were killed in riots in Mexico City.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised black-gloved fists during a medal ceremony to protest about the treatment of black people in the USA.

Dick Fosbury became the high jump champion with his unusual style of jumping, which became known as the Fosbury Flop.

A new world record long jump was set that stood for 23 years.

Munich 1972.

The 'black power' salutes by two black Americans were upstaged by the deaths of nine Olympic athletes who had been taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists.

The Olympic Games

Montreal 1976.

The opening ceremony took part in an unfinished stadium and many of the African nations withdrew from the games because of a New Zealand rugby tour to South Africa.

Moscow 1980.

Because of the Soviet Unions invasion of Afghanistan 52 nations including the USA and Canada refused to attend. The British government at that time did not support the British team.

Los Angeles 1984.

The Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc boycotted these games because they were unhappy with the security arrangements. For the first time the Olympic Games made a substantial profit.

Seoul 1988.

North Korea boycotted the Games because the IOC refused permission for some of the events to take place there. Tennis was reintroduced and professionals were allowed to compete for medals.

Ben Johnson was disqualified two days after wining the 100 metres final as a result of a positive drugs test.

The Olympic Games

Barcelona 1992.

South Africa competed in these Games for the first time in thirty years and the break up of the Soviet Union and the reunification of East and West Germany brought a new look to the Olympic Games.

New events included badminton and baseball with 257 different events in total.

Atlanta 1996.

Despite the high security of these of these Games, a bomb exploded in a park near to the stadium.

Sydney 2000.

Olympic villages have been built to house 1,300 officials, 1,500 competitors and 6,000 people associated with the media.

Ten major sponsors have paid $A (Australian dollars) 50 millions for the rights to be associated with the Games.

An estimated cost of $A 2.4 billions has been calculated for the running of the Millennium Games.

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