According to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC. Originally, the games were part of a religious festival to honor Zeus. He was the god of the sky and the leader of the Greek gods who lived on Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. They continued for nearly 12 centuries, until Emperor Theodosius decreed in 393 A.D. that all such “pagan cults” be banned. The Olympics was one of four all-Greek (Pan Hellenic) games. Even though the games were named after Mount Olympus they weren’t played there. Instead they were held in the religious sanctuary of Olympia near Greece’s southwest coast. The land there was beautiful and rich with olive trees. Olympics are the leading international sporting event featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered to be the world’s foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.
The 1960 Olympic Games were the first Olympics to be fully covered by television. It was also the first time the newly chosen Olympic Anthem, composed by Spiros Samaras, was played. At the beginning, the games were just short foot races designed to keep Greek men fit for the intensity of war. The path for the foot races was about 700 feet long and straight. It was also wide enough for twenty men to run side by side. Only men who spoke Greek were allowed to take part in the races. Men ran the races without any clothes on. Gradually, other events were added but there were no team sports like in the modern Olympics. Also, there were no medals like the gold, silver, and bronze medals we have today. There was only one winner and he was given a wreath of olive leaves as a prize. But these weren’t just any olive leaves. These olive leaves were taken from a sacred tree that was located at Olympia behind the temple dedicated to Zeus. To reward his mastery of the events, a statue was built in the winner’s honor. The games were held once every four years in August. Over time other events were added. Horse races, chariot races, boxing, and wrestling were all popular events in addition to the foot races. There was also a special event that consisted of five different sports activities: wrestling, running, the long jump, disc throwing, and spear throwing.
The modern Olympics were started in 1896 by a French educator and historian by the name of Pierre de Coubertin. Pierre loved sports and felt that the world’s countries would have more of an opportunity for peace if they gathered together to play sports. He designed the five color rings that are used to represent the Olympic Games today. The rings stand for North and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia. At the beginning of the games a flame is lit. The flame begins in Olympia and is passed from torch to torch until the location of the games is reached. The location changes every time the Olympic games are played. Today the Olympic games are the largest sporting event in the world. There are summer and winter games and over 30 sports are played. Men and women from all over the world compete to win the gold, bronze, and silver medals.
The 2016 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, and commonly known as Rio 2016, is a major international multi-sport event in the tradition of the Olympic Games due to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5 to August 21, 2016. The opening ceremony begins at 18:00 BRT (UTC−3), Friday August 5th on the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. First sport events (football matches) will take place on Wednesday, August 3rd. The Rio 2016 opening ceremony will be at the world famous football (soccer) Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, 2016.The Olympics will conclude with a closing ceremony on August 21, 2016.
List of all Olympic Venues in RIO 2016
Venues of the 2016 Summer Olympics will be located in four geographically segregated Olympic areas of Rio de Janeiro: Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Deodoro, and Maracanã. Additionaly, four venues outside Rio will host football events, in the cities of Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Salvador and São Paulo.
Barra da Tijuca:
Carioca, Future Arena, Maria Lenk Aquatic Center, Olympic Aquatics Stadium, Olympic Golf Course, Olympic Tennis Centre, Pontal, Rio Olympic Arena, Rio Olympic Velodrome, Riocentro
Beach Volleyball Arena, Fort Copacabana, Lagoa Stadium, Marina da Glória
Deodoro Aquatics Centre, Deodoro Stadium, Mountain Bike Centre, Olympic BMX Centre, Olympic Equestrian Centre, Olympic Hockey Centre, Olympic Shooting Centre, Whitewater Stadium, Youth Arena
Maracanã, Maracanãzinho, Olympic Stadium, Sambódromo
Amazônia Arena, Arena Corinthians, Fonte Nova Stadium, Mané Garrincha Stadium, Mineirão