The Olympics games, which was an ancient Greek practice has now been adopted by the whole world. The Olympics play a significant role in merging sports with culture. Held every 4 years, the Olympics is one the biggest sporting event. It offers huge laurels for the athletes. This sporting event takes off as winter and summer sports alternatively. The tradition of Olympics goes way back into 8th Century BC amidst the ancient Greek sanctuary of Olympia. These games continued to be played in the island of Pelop, Olympia till 5th century AD.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin is considered to be the father of modern Olympics as he revived this tradition in Athens. The Olympics were formally established in 1896 presided by the foundation of International Olympic Committee as a governing body. The IOC decides the host country for every Olympics event. The chosen country commits to the responsibility of the entire event from organizing till the funding. The event itself is a great opportunity for the country to acquaint the rest of world with its distinct culture. The IOC also takes care of the games to be included in the program along with all the major decisions.
In the ancient times the Olympics were associated with the religious believers of Zeus who was considered to be the king of all the gods in Greek mythology. Olympics were actually part of a religious festival held in his honor within the sanctuary of Olympia. In this festival along with other activities, people showcased their physical accomplishments and the games are still believed to owe their purity to the religion.
The Olympics originated from the land of rich mythology and thus has a lot of traditions and symbols associated with it. The colorful Olympic rings are the iconic representation of the international Olympic games. These pentand rings have a couple of interpretations associated and are considered to represent the unison of five continents. The intertwined rings also stand for passion, faith, victory, work ethic, and sportsmanship. The Olympic flame is another significant tradition used to announce the beginning of the event. The torch is lit in Olympia, Greece and then taken to various countries by prominent personalities of the host country of that year. At the opening of the ceremony the torch is used to light a cauldron that remains alighted till the end of the games.
The Olympics over the years have maintained a balance of keeping alive old traditions along with adapting to the altering social settings. The Paralympics for physically challenged people and Youth Olympics for teenage athletes are the outcome of the evolutionary development in Olympics. The initiation of winter games every alternate year is also a considerable progression in the world of Olympics.
The Olympic Games have come a long way. What initiated as a ritual amongst the Greeks has now touched the international arena where literally every nation is represented. The magnitude of the games contested for has also risen over the passage of time. Initially it constituted of pentathlon, running, jumping, discus throwing, wrestling, pankration and equestrian events. Today the list goes on and on with aquatics, archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing/kayak, cycling, fencing, football, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling. The recently included winter sports are that of bi-athlon, bobsleigh, curling, Ice Hockey, luge , skating and skiing.
In 2008, for the fifth time in the history, the Olympics went to the Asia. The amazing Chinese city of Beijing hosted this summer sporting event with a modern infrastructure that awestruck audiences and viewers world over. Around 90,000 people from all over the world witnessed the event live at the National Stadium, while millions of sports fans watched it on television. Around 130 new Olympic records and 40 new world records were set by athletes.
The 2010 International Olympic Winter Games and Paralympics games are going to be held in the Canadian city of Vancouver. Vancouver plans to exhibit the premium Canadian culture with a series of celebrations and ceremonies. The excitement of 2010 Olympic is at its peak with the longest torch relay in the country covering over 45,000 Km. The 2010 Vancouver Olympic is a highly anticipated sporting event for all the nations across the globe. The Olympics tickets are already selling like hot cakes with a lot of excitement and intrigue about the city of Vancouver.
The Olympics have been more than just a sporting event; it carries along the torch of peace and mutual cultural respect. The spirit of Olympics reaches every corner of the world through the athletes participating from all around the world.
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