International Development Of The Olympic Games History Essay

The Olympic Games is one of the most anticipated international events. The Olympic slogan Citius, Altius, Fortius ( Faster, Higher, Stronger ) and its credo which says “ The most of import thing in the Olympic Games is non to win but to take portion, merely as the most of import thing in life is non the victory but the battle. The indispensable thing is non to hold conquered but to hold fought good ” ( see Olympic Charter ) embodies the true spirit of sportsmanship which is the grade of the true Olympic spirit.

For many athleticss lovers, the Olympic Games serve as a consolidative event that link all jocks and athleticss partisans from all over the universe. Many states from different parts of the Earth compete for the hosting of this international event non merely for its important part to the universe of athleticss but besides because this event attracts 1000000s of people and have the capacity to excite the economic system of the host state.

The Olympic Games have a long and colourful history that goes back t the eighth century B.C. In the olden times, the games were held in the ancient metropolis of Olympia, Greece. At that clip, the Olympics belong entirely to the Greeks and their Alliess. Over the old ages, the games evolved and in the nineteenth century, the International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) was organized and the modern twenty-four hours international games started. At first, there were merely a few states which participated in the Olympic Games which were conducted one time every four old ages. However, as the event became more popular, more and more states sent delegates. During the 2008 Summer Olympics which was held in China, around 10,500 rivals from 204 states participated in the different events ( see Official site of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. hypertext transfer protocol: // # ) .

Aside from deriving more participants, the Olympics besides evolved in footings of its format and agenda. At present, the Olympic Games have evolved into two events viz. the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics. To acquire a clearer image of how the International Olympic Games developed over the old ages, allow us dig deeper into its history from the antediluvian times up to the present. We will besides take a expression at how the athleticss, the symbols and the ceremonials of the Olympic Games developed over the past several old ages.

The Ancient Olympics

History can non nail clearly as to when and how the ancient Olympics started. There are a figure of theories as to how the Games ab initio came into being. Myths have it that the Gods of Olympus, peculiar Heracles and Zeus started the first Olympic Games ( Young, David C. ( 2004 ) . Harmonizing to the fable, Heracles organised the games in award of Zeus, his male parent. This made the first Olympics a signifier of spiritual event and testimonial which was meant to honour Zeus and Pelops, who was the Godhead hero and fabulous male monarch of Olympia ( Young, David C. , 2004 ) . Harmonizing to the myth, the Ancient Olympic Games, which was conducted every four old ages, featured chariot racing and combat events that are designed to delight the Gods ( Young, David C. , 2004 ) .

Although there are many people who accepted the fabulous accounts of how the Games started, non many bookmans accepted the fabulous justification of when and how the Olympics started. For many historiographers, the lettering found at Olympia which detailed the names of the victors of a foot race which was held every four old ages is the cogent evidence that the Olympics did get down in Olympia. Based on this lettering, historiographers calculated that the Ancient Olympics started about 776 BC with an interval of four old ages from one event to another ( Swaddling, Judith, 1999 ) . Further grounds showed that the Ancient Olympics characteristics games such as running, wrestle, pugilism, equestrian events and pentathlon which is a combination of pes race, leaping event, wresting and discus and javelin throws ( Crowther, Nigel B. ( 2007 ) . Traditional narratives and folklores have it that a cook by the name of Coroebus from the metropolis of Elis was the first Champion of the Ancient Olympics ( Golden, Mark ( 2009 ) .

The Ancient Olympic Games took topographic point every four old ages which lead the Greeks to utilize Olympiad as a signifier of clip measuring ( Swaddling, Judith, 1999 ) . The Games became the high spot of Grecian jubilations particularly around the 6th and the fifth centuries BC ( ( Swaddling, Judith, 1999 ) . However, when the Romans gained power over Greece and the Olympics faded into the background and it finally ended during the reign of Theodosius I about 393 AD ( Crowther, Nigel B. ( 2007 ) . It was non until the nineteenth century when the Games were revived.

Modern Day Olympics

There were some efforts to resuscitate the Olympic Games during the eighteenth century. History tells us that a national festival called the L’Olympiade de la Republiquewas celebrated in France yearly from 1796 to 1796 ( see Le Pontentiel, 2008 ) . Consequently, the competition followed most of the events featured in the Ancient Olympics. The metric system was besides introduced into the Games at this phase. However, the Gallic version of the Olympics did non pull many participants from other parts of the universe and it died out of course after two old ages.

By 1821, the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire triggered a renewed sense of nationalism among the Greeks. Along with this new waking up, the Greeks took involvement in resuscitating the Olympic Games which their sires started 1000s of old ages before. However, it was non until 1859 before the first Olympic Games were conducted in Athens ( Young, 1996 ) .

Another effort at resuscitating the Olympics happened in 1850 when the Olympic Class started at Much Wenlock, Shropshire, England. It was later on renamed as the Wenlock Olympian Game in 1859 and is known today as the Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games ( Wenlock Olympian Society. hypertext transfer protocol: // ) . The Olympic Society Annual Games adopted most of the tourneies and subjects of the Ancient Olympic Games. Again, like its predecessor, the Wenlock Olympic did non pull international participants. However, unlike the Gallic Olympic which died out after two old ages, the Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games continued until the present. The twelvemonth 1866 marked yet another resurgence of the ancient Olympic Games in the England. Dr. William Penny Brookes organized the first National Olympic Games in England and the games were held at the Crystal Palace ( Wenlock Olympian Society. hypertext transfer protocol: // ) . Most of the events at the Crystal Palace were adopted from the 1859 Olympics which were held in Athens, Greece.

The efforts at resuscitating the Olympic Games gave the organizers an penetration that a big scale international athleticss matter is possible. Pierre Fredy, Baron de Coubertin, a Gallic historiographer, educator and considered as the male parent of the modern Olympic Games, proposed to Dr. Brookes and to Evangelis Zappas, the affluent altruist who sponsored the first Olympic Games in Athens in 1859, that they spearhead the administration of an International Olympic Games which will be held in rotary motion from one state to another ( Coubertin, Philemon, Politis & A ; Anninos, 1897 ) . The thought of Coubertin was thirstily accepted by the Brookes and Zappas. During the meeting of the freshly constituted International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) held in June 16-23, 1894, the thought of Coubertin was adopted by the Committee. The Committee decided to carry on the first International Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens, Greece and elected Demetrius Vikelas as the first president of the International Olympic Games.

The first International Olympic Games in Athens was non good attended. In fact, there were merely 250 jocks who came to the event ( Darling ( 2004 ) . The hapless attending to event was attributed to the failure in communicating and the fact that the Grecian authorities was non able to renovate decently the Panathenian Stadium where the Games were held. Due to infinite restrictions and the limited figure of jocks who came for the event, the first International Olympics merely featured nine featuring events ( Coubertin, Philemon, Politis & A ; Anninos ( 1897 ) . These featuring events were cycling, sports, tennis, weight-lifting, wrestle, fence, shot, swimming and gymnastic exercises ( Coubertin, Philemon, Politis & A ; Anninos ( 1897 ) . The ten percent event which was rowing was cancelled due to unfavourable conditions conditions at that clip ( Coubertin, Philemon, Politis & A ; Anninos ( 1897 ) .

Despite the less than leading attending to the first International Olympic Games, athletes, organizers and athleticss partisans from different states were really enthusiastic about it. Many people suggested that Athens should host all the future Olympics but the commission rejected this thought stating that the Olympics is supposed to be an international event and all states should hold equal right to host the event in their districts ( Olympiad ( Young, David C. ( 1996 ) .

With much enthusiasm from different sectors, the 2nd Olympic Games were organised and were held in Paris in 1900. This was followed by another Olympic Games in 1904 at St Louis, Missouri in the United States ( see ESP Olympics Fan Guide hypertext transfer protocol: // year=1904 ) . Unfortunately, both events were non really successful. The International Olympic Games in Paris and St. Louis coincided with the World ‘s Fair exhibit and since both events were held at the same clip and at the same topographic point, attending to the Olympic Games suffered. Harmonizing to ESP ‘s Olympic Fan Guide, there were merely 650 jocks who attended the matter and St. Louis and 580 of these jocks came from the host state which was the United States.

The less than successful behavior of the 2nd and 3rd Olympic Games prompted the organizers to host another Olympics in 1906 in Athens, Greece ( Young, David C. ( 1996 ) . This event was dubbed as the 1906 Intercalated Games because it was held on the 3rd Olympiad alternatively of the traditional 4th Olympiad ( Young, David C. ( 1996 ) . The 1906 event helped resuscitate the drooping liquors of the Olympic motion. By 1908, the London Games gathered a immense crowd which fueled the enthusiasm of the organizers and jocks likewise Olympiad ( Young, David C. ( 1996 ) .

Birth of the Winter Olympics

As the International Olympic Games became more popular around the universe, more and more states sent representatives to the Games. Finally, several athleticss events were added to the traditional games. Some of the new events characteristic snow and ice athleticss. Since snow and ice athleticss are weather sensitive and are impossible to keep during the summer, the IOC came up with an thought of keeping the Olympics in two sets viz. the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. During the 1921 Olympic Congress in Lausanne, the IOC presented the thought of the Winter Olympics and it was officially adopted by the assembly ( see International Olympic Committee hypertext transfer protocol: // OLGT=2 & A ; OLGY=1924 ) .

About three old ages after the IOC approved the behavior of the Winter Olympics, the first Winter Olympic Games took topographic point in Chamonix, France in 1924. The Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics were originally held in the same twelvemonth. This agenda was followed until the 1992 Winter Olympics which took topographic point in Alberta, France ( Utah Athletic Foundation. hypertext transfer protocol: // ) . This changed during the 1994 Games when the organisers decided to keep the Winter Olympics during the 3rd twelvemonth of the Olympiad. At present, the Winter Games are held two old ages after the Summer Olympics. As a whole, this new agenda is more favourable to the organisers and jocks who need more clip to fix for the games.

The Paralympics

The Paralympics was organized to back up outstanding jocks with physical disablement or vision damage ( Peterson, Cynthia and Robert D. Steadward, 1998 ) . These jocks are accepted to this event non because of their existing disablements but because of their superior athletic accomplishments. The Paralympics is non officially portion of the International Olympic Games but it is closely associated to it as it was organized on the gap of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London ( Peterson, Cynthia and Robert D. Steadward, 1998 ) but the first Paralympic Games were held in Rome in 1960 ( see Sports for the handicapped hypertext transfer protocol: // ) .

Since its origin, the Paralympic Games had been held in the same twelvemonth as the Olympic Games and get downing in 1988, the Paralympics have been held in the same metropolis and in the same locale as the Olympic Games. This agreement came after the IOC and the International Paralympic Committee ( IPC ) signed an understanding that the Host Cities of the Olympic Games will besides host the Paralympics ( Thomas and Smith, 2008 ) . Over the old ages, the popularity of the Paralympics grew and during the 2008 Paralympics in China, 400 jocks from 23 states and took portion in the different sporting events ( see Sports for the handicapped hypertext transfer protocol: // ) .

The Youth Games

Another invention to the traditional Olympic Games is the engagement of the young person. Before, jocks of different ages are lump together as a individual group but get downing in 2010, athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 will now take part in the Youth Games. The Young person Games were conceptualized every bit early as 2001 and was approved during the 119th Congress of the IOC but its integrating into the Olympic Games was delayed due to several factors including readyings and the preparation of new guidelines for the games ( Rice, John, 2007 ) . The Young person Games are shorter compared to its senior opposite number. The Summer Youth Games will merely last 12 yearss while the Winter Youth Games is set to last for 9 yearss ( see hypertext transfer protocol: // @ 220491.htm ) .

The Olympic Movement and the International Olympic Committee

The Olympic Movement is a really of import constituent of the International Olympic Games. Without this Movement, it will be hard for the organisers to garner the best jocks from different parts of the universe to take portion in the sporting events. The Movement is composed of different organisations and federations, athleticss functionaries, jocks, Judgess and media spouses who agree to stay by the Olympic Charter. These groups are governed by the International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) . The IOC is responsible for all the major readyings for the Games. It responsibilities include the picking out the host metropoliss for the Games, negociating sponsorship and broadcast medium rights, updating of the featuring events.

The Development of the Olympic Symbol

The jubilation of the International Olympic Games would non be complete without the symbols that represent it. These symbols represent the ideals of the Olympics and are considered portion and package of the event. The Olympic symbol which is best known around the universe as the Olympic rings is composed of five rings stand foring the five inhabited continents of the universe ( International Olympic Committee hypertext transfer protocol: // ) . The Olympic rings form portion of the Olympic flag. The flag was adopted in 1914 but it was non used until the 1920 Summer Olympics which was held in Antwerp, Belgium.

Aside from the Olympic rings and the flag, the Olympic fire is one of the most noteworthy symbols of the event. The fire is traditionally lit in Olympia months before the event. As portion of tradition, a adult female, moving as a priestess, lights the torch in Olympia by puting it inside a parabolic mirror. Once the torch is illuminated, it is passed on to the first relay carrier and the official torch relay for the Olympics starts. The torch is passed from one carrier to another until it reaches the host metropolis where it will be used to illume the torch during the gap ceremonial. The tradition of illuming the torch in Olympia has been portion of the Olympic Games rites since 1928 but the torch relay was merely introduced during the 1936 Summer Games.

Another symbol that is connected with the behavior of the Olympic Games is the Olympic Mascot which was introduced in 1968. The mascot normally represents the cultural heritage of the host state. Each host state is free to take its ain Olympic Mascot.

The Olympic Ceremonies

The Olympic Games would non be complete without its ceremonials expansive gap and shutting ceremonials. These ceremonials are specifically described in the Olympic Charter and assorted elements in these ceremonials are mandated by the Charter itself. For the gap ceremonial, the rites established during the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium dominate the activity ( see IOC, The Modern Olympic Games ) . The gap ceremonial normally starts with the elevation of the national flag of the host state followed by a cultural presentation in the signifier of music and dances ( see IOC, The Modern Olympic Games ) . After the cultural presentation, the parade of jocks from different states follows. In every presentation of jocks during the gap ceremonials, Greece ever comes foremost. This agreement is done in award of the beginnings of the Olympic Games. After Greece, states are introduced in alphabetical order.

After the presentation of the jocks, the torch which originated from the City Olympia is brought into the bowl. The torched is passed from one jock to another until it reaches the concluding carrier who so puts it in the caldron of the bowl. The lighting of the Olympic fire marks the official gap of the Games ( see Olympic Charter ) .

The shutting ceremonial of the Olympics is merely every bit colourful and full of traditional rites as the gap ceremonial. The high spots of the shutting ceremonial includes the hoisting of the national flags of the host state, the flag of Greece and the flag of the state that will host the following Olympic Games ( see Olympic Charter ) . Following the Antwerp Ceremony, the city manager of the host metropolis gives the Olympic Flag to the president of the IOC. The president of the IOC so passes the flag to the city manager of the metropolis that will host the following Olympic Games ( see Olympic Charter ) . The Games officially ends when the Olympic fire has been put out.

Throughout the ceremonials, three linguistic communications may be used viz. ; English and French which are the official linguistic communication of the Olympics and the linguistic communication of the host state ( see Olympic Charter ) .


The Olympic Games have come a long manner since it was foremost introduced in Greece in the ancient times. The modern Games have brought together 1000s of jocks from different states and have set the criterions of true sportsmanship. Introduction of Summer Olympics, the Winter Olympics and the Youth Games every bit good as the cooperation between the IOC and the IPC to advance the Paralympics are major mileposts that helped do the Olympic Games more antiphonal to the demands of clip. The Olympics have evolved in certain ways ; nevertheless, there are certain things that remain unchanged through clip. The slogan of the Olympics “ Citius, Altius, Fortius ” still remains as the primary end of every jock that joins the Olympics.