The Olympic Games are the world‘s number one sports event. For athletes they mean a chance to win gold and glory. For all people they are they are symbol of peace, hope, friendly cooperation between nations, fairness high moral and physical standards.
There have been 2 Olympic eras – ancient and modern.
The Olympic Games were firs held at Olympia in Greece in 776 BC. Many thousands of spectators gathered from all parts of Greece, but no married woman was admitted even as a spectator. Slaves, women and dishonoured person were not allowed to compete. In ancient Greece athletic festivals were very important and had strong religious associations. The Olympian athletic festival, held every four years in honour of Zeus, eventually lost it’s local character, became first national event and then international. Athletes traveled long distances to compete in them every 4 years and the winners became civic heroes. This went on until the Roman Empire conquered Greece. The games were stopped in 393 AD. The City of Olympia remained deserted until it was destroyed by two earthquakes in the 6 century AD.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin who was fascinated by the Ancient Olympic brought the classical games back to life. The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens 1896. Nowadays the Games are held in different countries in turn. The host country provides vast facilities, including a stadium, swimming pools and living accommodation, but competing pay their own athletes expenses. Each country has it’s own Olympic committee which is in charge of national teems.