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The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games

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The greatest athlete in the ancient games was a wrestler called Milo of Croton who won the boxing competition six times and was said to be the most powerful man then. Many artists were also inspired by the Olympics.   A poet Pindar was honored at the games after he wrote many odes praising the winners of the game. The games continued until an emperor Theodosius in 393AD decreed that they are banned calling the games “ pagan cults” .The games were introduced back after 1500 years by Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France, who promoted physical education and was inspired by the idea of introducing modern Olympic Games after he visited the ancient site of Olympia.

He proposed the idea in 1892 and got the approval needed and founded the International Olympic Committee, which governed the modern Olympic Games. Athens is where the first modern Olympic Games were held in the year 1896. The event was attended by a crowd of 60,000 spectators, King Georgios I welcomed 280 participants from 13 nations in the opening ceremony to compete in 43 events. The events included tennis, swimming, gymnastics, wrestling, weightlifting, fencing, cycling and race track.

The games were dominated by a 14-man team from the United States taking first place in most of the games. The games were then held in1900 and 1904 by 1908 the number of competitors was four times the number in Athens In 1920 the Olympic flag flew for the first time consisting of the modern Olympics symbol of five interlocking rings representing five continents. This is the same year when the Olympic oath was also introduced. The idea of the Olympic flame came later in 1928 in Amsterdam, but torch relays did not exist until at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

At the beginning of 1924, the Winter Olympics were included so as to be held in a separate site with cold weather sports while still in the same year they also held the summer games. The winter games included events such as ice hockey, figure skating, biathlon, and bobsledding.

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