The Olympics Games
Citius - Altius - Fortius
Founder of the Olympics
Baron Pierre de Coubertin, born in 1863, is credited with creating the modern Olympics. He was passionate about harnessing education and sport to improve society, and believed that reviving the ancient Greek tradition of Olympic Games would bring about such an improvement.
The Baron founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1884 and began organising the first Games in Athens (1896). He was in the business of "making men"; to "adhere to an ideal of a higher life, to strive for perfection"; to create "a four-yearly festival of the springtime of mankind". Sadly, this vision did not extend to female athletes. Female athletes first participated in the Olympic Games in 1900 in Paris when Charlotte Cooper (Britain) was the first female gold medallist in the tennis singles. Medals were not awarded to winners until the 1908 games in London.
After the first successful Olympics in 1896, de Coubertin became president of the IOC, a post he held until 1925. He died of a stroke in 1937 and in accordance with his last wishes, the Baron was buried in Lausanne but his heart was interred in a monument at the ruins of Olympia.
The Olympic motto is:
The Olympic Oath, instituted in 1920 and updated in 2000, is taken on behalf of all athletes by a member of the host team. While holding a corner of his national flag, the athlete proclaims from the rostrum, the following:
"In the name of all the competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams."
The five interlaced rings represent the five continents of the world and the six colours are those that appear on all the national flags of the world now. The Olympic flag was first flown at the Antwerp Olympic stadium in 1920.
The summer and winter Olympic Games have been held at the following locations:
The summer sports have included Aquatics, Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Boxing, Canoeing, Cycling, Equestrian, Fencing, Football, Gymnastics, Handball, Hockey, Judo, Pentathlon, Rowing, Sailing, Shooting, Softball, Table tennis, Taekwando, Tennis, Triathlon, Volleyball, Weight Lifting and Wrestling.
Only five sports have been contested at every summer Olympic Games since 1896 and they are:
Only three countries have competed at every summer Olympics and they are:
Impact of politics on the games
The idea for the Paralympics Games was developed from the work of Sir Ludwig Guttman who, in 1948, organised a competition in Stoke Mandeville (UK) for Second World War veterans with spinal injuries. He believed that sport was good for both morale and rehabilitation. The success of this competition meant that by 1960 Olympic-style Games with international participation had evolved.
Nowadays, athletes compete in one of six categories: spinal cord injury; amputee; visually impaired; cerebral palsy; mentally handicapped; and les duties (athletes with motor disability). Disabilities are graded by severity, and individuals compete against those with a similar degree of impairment. In 1952, only two countries and 130 athletes took part. In Sydney 2000, 123 countries and 3,843 athletes participated.
Although there has always been close ties between the Olympics and Paralympics, in 2001 an agreement between IOC and International Paralympics Committee (IPC) ensured that from 2012 onwards the city chosen to host the Olympic Games would be obliged to host the Paralympics.
The positive social impact of large events, like the Olympic games, on the hosting country can include:
The reference for this page is:
The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page: