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The Olympic Games: History, Fun Facts and the 2021 Return

Hand holds up a bunch of gold, silver, and bronze medals in bright blue sky

The Olympic Games, an international sporting event that occurs every four years, have gathered millions of spectators both in person and at home throughout history. They consist of two separately held games: summer and winter. Thousands of athletes from all over the world come together to participate. But where exactly did this game originate?

The First Recorded Olympic Games

The first Olympics that were recorded took place in 776 B.C. However, the notion that the games took place well before that time has been supported by historians. Originally, the Olympic Games took place in honor of the Greek god Zeus and was a religious festival. Over time, different sporting events were added, and now what we know as the Olympic Games is quite different from what it used to be.

Did You Know?

One thing that is definitely different now is that athletes actually wear clothes. That’s right, the original games were played nude. In fact, this carefree nature was translated into many other aspects of the game and things like sponsorships, protection gear and, well, safety in general, were not too big of a thing. Another thing that many people are not aware of is that at least one of the Olympic Rings’ colors is present in every national flag of the world. This symbol idea was cultivated by the founder of the modern Olympic movement, Baron Pierre De Coubertin. Lastly, the first modern Olympics took place in 1896 in Greece, and women were not granted participation until 1900.

Memorable Moments Before The 21st Century

1924: Chamonix, France

This year marked the first official Winter Olympics.

1936: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

The Olympic Games this year was organized by Adolf Hitler and revolved around Nazi propaganda. The summer games in this year were actually the first ever to be televised.

1948: London, UK

The decathlon was defeated by a 17-year-old American who was also the youngest track athlete ever to win an event at the time, Bob Mathias.

1976: Innsbruck, Austria

This year was tremendous for figure skating. Dorothy Hamill won the women’s singles gold medal in figure skating and the first backflip in competitive figure skating history was successfully completed by Terry Kubicka.

1996: Atlanta, Georgia

This year, the summer games experienced a tragic bombing that resulted in two fatalities and over 100 injured. On the flip side, the Olympic flame was lit by the iconic Muhammed Ali.

2020 Tokyo Olympic Games To Take Place in 2021

The president of the International Olympic Committee confirmed that the 2020 Olympic Games would be postponed until 2021. The games are scheduled to resume next month for the first time since the pandemic hit the globe. The games will take place in Tokyo, Japan and are actually still being branded as the 2020 Olympic Games. However, it is highly unlikely that spectators will be allowed to physically join.

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Written by Alina Hoarau

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