There are two types of olympic games :
- Summer Olympics
- Winter Olympics
The Olympics began long back in 776 BC . The games were originally held in Olympia in Greece . In 1896 , the Summer Games were revived by Pierre Fredy, Baron de Coubertin as he campaigned for the revival of the summer games as an international event, a way to bring the nations close together to compete in sports. The second Summer Olympics in 1900 was the first one in which the participation of women players were granted officially. Eleven women were allowed to compete in lawn tennis and golf.
Origin of the Summer Games:
In the year 776 BC , the first Summer Games were held at the wooded valley of Olympia in Elis, Greece . A gap of four years was maintained between two consecutive Games. In Elis , temples and statues were built in a grove dedicated to the supreme god Zeus . An ivory and gold statue of Zeus created by Phidias , the sculptor was the greatest shrine. According to some scholars, 776 BC Olympics were not the first games. Actually, it was the first Olympic after the Olympics were organized into festivals to be held every four years as a result of the peace agreement between the city states of Elis and Pisa . The people of Elis traced the founding of the Summer Games to King Iphitos . It is said that Delphi Oracle told King Iphitos to plant the olive tree from which winners' wreaths were made.
Till date , The United States has hosted 8 Olympic Games -4 Summer and 4 Winter.
Summer Olympics Events :
At first, the only event in the Summer Games was a 200-yard dash, called a stadium . Then, in 724 BC a two-stadia race was added. The 24-stadia event began two years later, and the pentathlon and wrestling became part of the games in 708 . This pentathlon was a five-event match consisting running, wrestling, leaping, throwing the discus, and hurling the javelin . Later on, boxing, a chariot race , and other events were included in the schedule of Summer Games.
These events are organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOL). The Olympics program includes 35 sports and nearly 400 events. The Summer Olympics includes 28 sports with 38 disciplines and the Winter Olympics includes 7 sports with 15 disciplines.
The Summer Olympic sports are archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, gymnastics, judo, mountain biking, rowing, sailing, shooting, soccer, softball, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field, volleyball, water polo, weightlifting and wrestling.
Two sports, taekwondo and triathlon (swimming, biking, running), were introduced for the first time at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia. In 1996, Mountain biking made its Olympic debut.
Olympics symbol :
The olympics flag consists of the Olympic rings -five intertwined rings representing five continents having colors :- blue,yellow,black,green and red on a white field.
The Olympic Motto :
The olympic motto is "Ctius, Altius, Fortius" meaning "Faster, Higher, Stronger"
Olympic Tourch Relay :
The Olympic Flame is lit in Olympia which is used to lit the torch. The torch is relayed to the host city's Olympic stadium.
Olympic Mascot :
The olympic mascot is an animal or human figure which represents the cultural heritage of the host country. The mascots are important message transmission vehicles for the world's largest sports event, especially for children and young people. It is essential to the spectator experience, the mascot reflects the host country identity and culture.
Winter Olympics are held during the winter time features winter sports that are played on ice and snow. Attended by a large number of sportsperson from different countries of the world as participants, this competition has lesser as compared to the Summer Games, as only the cold countries have the practice of organizing winter sports.
The Winter Olympics was developed from the earlier Nordic Games, which also was a competition of the winter sports and used to be held every four years. It was held for the first time in the year 1924 in Chamonix in France and since then has been held regularly except for the World War II years.
Both the olympics events are held after an interval of four years individually, and are held alternatively after a mutual gap of two years. For instance, the Winter Olympics was held in Turin, Italy in 2006 which was followed by the Summer Olympics event held in Beijing, China in 2008. The next Winter Olympics was held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 2010 followed by the Summer Olympics event hosted by London in 2012.
Winter Olympics exclusively features 7 snow-sporting events divided into 15 disciplines which include bobsled, cross-country skiing, curling, downhill skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, luge, snowboarding and speed skating. There will be a total of 86 medal events in 15 sports for the twenty-first Winter Games in 2010.