Artículos de 25 Agosto 2008

Olympic Games

Lunes, 25 Agosto 2008

The Olympic Games is an international multi-sport event. The original Olympic Games were first recorded in 776 BC in Olympia, Greece, and were held until AD 393. Interest in reviving the Olympic Games proper was first shown by the Greek poet and newspaper editor Panagiotis Soutsos in his poem “Dialogue of the Dead” in 1833. Evangelos Zappas sponsored the first modern international Olympic Games in 1859. He paid for the refurbishment of the Panathenian Stadium for Olympic Games held there in 1870 and 1875. This was noted in newspapers and publications around the world including the London Review, which stated that “the Olympian Games, discontinued for centuries, have recently been revived! Here is strange news indeed … the classical games of antiquity were revived near Athens.”

The International Olympic Committee was founded in 1894 on the initiative of a French nobleman, Pierre Frédy, Baron de Coubertin. The IOC has become the heart of the “Olympic Movement,” a conglomeration of sporting federations that are involved in the organization of the Games. As the Olympic Movement has grown so have the profile and complexity of the Games. Participation in the Games has increased to the point that nearly every nation on earth is represented. With the proliferation of satellite communications, the Internet, and the continuing trend towards globalization, the Olympics are consistently gaining supporters. This growth has created numerous challenges, including political boycotts, the use of performance enhancing medications, bribery of officials, and terrorism.

Despite these challenges the Olympics have continued to thrive and flourish. Each successive Games attempts to add more events in order to keep up with the ever-evolving advance of athletic expression around the world. The 2008 games in Beijing comprised 302 events in 28 sports. The most recent Winter Olympics in 2006 featured 84 events in 7 sports. While the Olympic Games do continue to evolve, they also encompass many rituals that were established during their infancy in the late 19th and early 20th century. Most of these traditions are on display during the Opening and Closing ceremonies, and the medal presentations. For its part, the Olympic Movement has made considerable progress in fostering participation among as many nations as wish to compete, as well as focusing on the Olympic motto: Citius Altius Fortius - Faster, Higher, Stronger.