The Olympics: A global festival of sports
“Sports don’t build character,
They reveal it.”
~ John Wooden
What is the Olympic Games?
The Olympic Games is a quadrennial international multi_ sport event celebrated as the greatest international festival of sports in every four years by people all over the World. The ultimate goal of the great sport event is to cultivate people and world peace through sports. Summer Games and Winter Games are held separately. In 2012, the commemorative XXX Olympic Games were held in London, with athletes from 204 Countries and regions participating in 26 sports with a total of 302 separate events.
History of Olympic Games:
The great athletic festival, Olympic Games, originated in ancient Greece 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. The games were held every four years in Olympia, in honor of God Zeus. The first modern Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens, with 280 participants from 13 nations, competing in 43 events. The Olympics truly took off as an international sporting event after 1924 when the VIII games were held in Paris. Some 3000 athletes including women athletes from 44 nations compete that year.
The ancient Olympic Games was not a mere athletic sport event but a religious festival held every four years at the sanctuary of Zeus of Olympia, Greece. Competition was among representatives of several city-states and kingdoms of Ancient Greece. During the games all conflicts among the participating city-states were postponed until games were finished. The event includes mainly athletics but also combat sports such as wrestling, horse and chariot racing are parts of it. The Olympics Games reached its highest success in the 6th and 5th century BC, but gradually declined and lost its importance as the Roman gained power and influence in Greece.
How was the modern Olympics revived?
The long lost tradition of Greece, The Olympic Games, was revived on April 06, 1896 in Athens. At a conference of International Sports in Paris in the year 1894, Pierre de Coubertin raised the idea of reviving the Olympics as a major international sport event and his proposal was approved. The International Olympics Committee (IOC) was formed and the first games were planned for 1896 in Athens, the capital of Greece.
What are the games and number of participants in the first games of modern Olympics?
In Athens, 280 participants from 13 nations took part in 43 events covering track and field, swimming, gymnastics, cycling, wrestling, Weight lifting, shooting, fencing and tennis. And all the competitors were men.
Ceremonies of Olympic Games:
The Grand Opening Ceremony;
The opening ceremony is the beginning of the festival of sports. The ceremony takes place on Friday. It starts with the entrance of the president of the host country followed by the hoisting of their national flag and reciting their national anthem. Then the host nation presents music, dancing, singing like performances. After the artistic portion the athletes parade into the stadium grouped by Nation and holding their national flags. Finally the Olympic torch was brought into the stadium, and a successful athlete of the host nation light the torch in the stadium cauldron.
The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games takes place on a Sunday after all the sporting events conclude. The president of the organising Committee and the president of IOC deliver their closing speech and the game is officially closed.
A medal ceremony is held after the conclusion of each sporting event. The winner, the second and third place competitors or teams are awarded by gold, silver and bronze medals respectively.
Tokyo Olympics 2020:
The Tokyo Olympics 2020, was originally scheduled to take place from 24th July to 9th August 2020, but the event was postponed due to covid 19 pandemic and will be held from 21st July to 8 August 2021, with no spectators permitted under the state emergence.
The IOC president stated that the goal of Tokyo summer Olympics is to give them a youthful and urban appeal and to increase the number of female participants.
The game will include 339 events in 33 different sports, with a total of 50 disciplines.And most importantly 5 new sports and 15 new events are going to be introduced in Tokyo Olympics, including 3×3 basketball, freestyle BMX and the return of Madison cycling etc.
India in Olympics:
India first took part in Olympic Games in 1900, with a lone athlete Norman Pritchard who won two silver medals in athletics and India became the first Asian nation to win a medal in Olympics. Indian athletes won 28 medals all in the summer Olympics.
Who is the first Indian woman to win the Olympic medal?
* Karnam Malleswari won bronze medal in women’s 69kg weightlifting in the 2000 Sydney games, being the first Indian woman to win a medal and make the country feel proud.
How many Olympic medals has India won?
* Since the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, India has won 28 medals and 23 since its independence in 1947.
India’s hockey team is the most successful team in the Olympics with 8 gold medals. Abhinav Bindra is the first ever and only athlete to win a gold medal in an individual event at the Olympics. He triumphed in the 10m Air Rifle Shooting event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
While covid-19 still has it’s foot on the world’s throat, a number of 126 athletes from India participated in the Tokyo Olympics.