Do you know the history of the Olympic Games?

Over the past fortnight we have been closly following the Olympic games in Rio and have been caught up in the spirit of the games.  This time around all of the children have been old enough to get involved and it became a bit of a ritual to watch the different sports either live or in the round ups after dinner each day.  It was a great way to bring the family together and provided lots of discussion topics.

Watching the Olymics also led to the boys asking lots of questions about the Olymic games history and what sports have been part of the games over the years.  I was able to answer some of their questions but not all of them.  I knew that the Olympic games where first held in Ancient Greece and that they were held as part of a religious and athletic festival in the sacred site of Olympia, I’d remembered that much from my history lessons in school.  Also that the first record of Games dates back to 776BC, as inscriptions have been found in Olympia with the winners of a footrace every four years.  However many feel that the Olympic Games had held for many years prior to this.

According to Greek Methology it was Hercales and his father Zeus who origianlly founded the games.  The legend claims that after Heracles completed his twelve labours, he built the Olympic Stadium in honour of his father Zeus.  The Anccient Greeks believed Heracles first gave the name ‘Olympics’ to the Games and established the custom of holding them every four years.

Ancient Greeks held athletic compeitions between represenatives from different kingdoms and city-states, these would run alongside ritual sacrifices that honoured Zeus and Pelops, who was the devine Hero and King of Olympia.  But when the Romans gained power in Greece, the games lost their importance and the eventually stopped in the 4th Century AD when the pagen rituals held at the games where banned by the new Rowan emperors.  The new emperors also had all the Greek temples destroyed.

1,500 years later after the Greek War of Independance from the Ottoman Empire in 1821, the Greeks began to express an interest in reviving the Olympic Games.  Then in 1859 Evangelos Zappas, who was an wealthy Greek-Rowan philanthropist, sponsored the first modern Olympic Games, which was held in an Athans Square.  Evangelos also founded the the restoration of the Panathenaic Stadium.

Then in 1890 Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the young French man would become the Chief of the governing body.  Baron Pierre de Coubertin’s aim was to establish an internationally rotating Olympic Games.  These would be hosted by a different country every four years.  Following the IOC’s first Olympic Congress in the University of Paris in 1894, it was decided that the first Olymic Games would be held in the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens in 1896.

The Games soon gained more interest from the public and attracted a broad pool of participants.  Today the Games are considered to be the Worlds Leading Sports Competition.  Where I’m rusty is the sports that athletes compete in, however dad of 3 has some knowledge of this.  Ladbrokes has a fun game available now where you can bit your knowledge of Olympic sports to the test, you can find it here I also found the information about the Olympic games there which as you can see is really interesting and really helped me answer the boys questions.

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