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Ancient Olympic Games: The Real Story

A sports festival that originated in ancient Greece and was revived in the late 19th century. Prior to the 1970s, competitions were officially restricted to participants with amateur status, but by the 1980s many events were open to professional athletes. Today, the game is open to anyone, including the best basketball and football (soccer) professionals. 

The ancient Olympic Games included several sports that are now part of the Summer Olympics program, sometimes involving events in as many as 32 different sports. In 1924, the winter sports winter games were sanctioned. The Olympic Games are now considered the most important sporting event in the world. 

What is the Olympic Games?

The Olympic Games are the world's most anticipated games of all major international sporting events. The Olympic Games now offer winter and summer sports competitions, with thousands of athletes from around the world taking part in a variety of competitions.

The Olympic Games are held every four years, and the Summer and Winter Olympic Games alternate every two years and every four years. The idea of ​​holding the Olympic Games is encouraged by the ancient Olympic Games held in Olympia, Greece, from around the 8th century BC. up to the 4th century. The Olympic Games process has evolved through several changes to the Games. 

History Of Olympic Games 

How long ago organised sporting events took place is a matter of debate, but it is almost certain that they were held in Greece almost 3,000 years ago. At least four sporting festivals in Greece, sometimes called "classic games", played a very important role.

Olympic Games held in Olympia. Pythian game in Delphi. Nemean game of Nemea. The Isthmian Games were held near Corinth. Similar festivals were subsequently held in nearly 150 cities, including Rome, Naples, Odessos, Antioch, and Alexandria.

Of all the Games held throughout Greece, the Olympic Games were the most famous. Held every four years from August 6 to September 19, it held such an important place in Greek history that historians of late antiquity measured time in intervals between the Olympic Games.  Like almost all Greek games, the Olympic Games were an integral part of religious celebrations. They were held in honour of Zeus at Olympia in the city-state of Elis, northwest of the Peloponnese. The first recorded Olympic champion was Coroebus of Elis, a cook who died in 776 BC. Chr. won his race in the sprint. The idea that the Olympics were held long before 776 BC. Based on mythology, not historical evidence. For example, according to legend, the game was founded by Hercules, son of Zeus and Alcmene.  

Competition And Status 

At a meeting in 776 BC. There appeared to be only one event for him, a foot race covering the length of the distance at Olympia BC, but many more were added in the decades that followed. The race, called the stud, was about 192 metres (210 yards) long. The word stud also refers to the track on which races were held, and is the etymology of the modern English stadium. Around 724 BC Thesaurus, two races similar to the 400 metre race, started around 400 BC, and 4 A year later the drikos was added, a long-distance race perhaps comparable to the modern 1,500 or 5,000 metres. Wrestling and pentathlon were invented in 708 BC. The latter was a comprehensive event consisting of five events: long jump, javelin throw, discus throw, foot race, and wrestling.

Boxing was founded in 688 BC. Chariot racing was introduced eight years later. 648 BC Pancratium (from the Greek pankration), a type of unbridled warfare, was recorded. This brutal competition combines wrestling, boxing and street fighting. Kicking or punching a knocked-down opponent was allowed. Only biting and gouging (sticking fingers or thumbs into the opponent's eyes) were prohibited.

 Events for boys were introduced between 632 and 616 BC. Other events were also added from time to time, such as foot races in which athletes ran in partial armour, and Herald and Trumpeter contests. However, the program was not as diverse as the modern Olympics. There were no team competitions or ball games, and athletics (track and field) was limited to the four events of running and the aforementioned pentathlon. Chariot and horse racing, which became part of the ancient games, were held at the racecourse south of the stadium. In the early Olympic Games, all competitions were held in one day. The games then spanned his four days, with the fifth being dedicated to the awards closing ceremony and the banquet of champions. At most events, athletes competed naked. For centuries, scholars have attempted to explain this practice. Theories range from eccentric (being naked in public without erections that indicate self-control) to the usual anthropological, religious and social explanations.

Nudity is evidence of initiation ceremonies, nudity is a relic from the hunter-gatherer age, nudity held magical powers for the Greeks to avoid harm, and nudity in public was the upper class. In Judeo-Christian societies, competing naked in public seems strange, if not outright scandalous, so historians have resorted to dubious theories. . But the ancient Greeks found nothing shameful in nudity, especially male nudity. Many modern descriptions of Greek athletic nudity are therefore essentially superfluous. 

Women and the Olympic Games  

Although there were no women's events in the ancient Olympic Games, the official list of Olympic winners features several women who own several winning chariot stables. In Sparta, girls and young women were trained in the field and entered competitions. However, outside of Sparta, young women's competitions in Greece were very rare and were probably confined to local foot races held annually. The annual Heraeus Festival included a foot race for young women divided into three age groups. However, the Helean race was not part of the Olympic Games (the Olympics were held at another time) and was probably not introduced until the arrival of the Roman Empire. After that, for a while, the girls attended other important sporting venues.

The 2nd century AD traveller  Pausanias wrote that women were exiled from Olympia to death during the actual games. But he also said the law and penalties had never been invoked. His report later made an inappropriate statement that unmarried women were allowed to attend the Olympics. Many historians believe that later scribes simply made a mistake in transcribing this passage from Pausanias here. Nonetheless, the idea that all or only married women were barred from the game persists in popular writings on the subject, although the evidence for female audiences remains unclear. 

The Modern Olympic Movement 

The ideas and work of many people led to the creation of the modern Olympic Games. The most famous architect of the modern game was Baron Pierre de Coubertin, born in Paris on New Year's Day 1863. Although his family tradition pointed to a career in the military or perhaps politics, the 24-year-old Coubertin decided his future lay in education, especially physical education. In 1890 he visited England and met Dr. To meet William Penny Brooks, who wrote an article on education that caught the attention of the French. 

Brooks has also spent decades reviving the ancient Olympic Games, envisioning a series of modern Greek Olympics beginning in Athens in 1859. The Olympic Games in Greece were founded by Evangelis Zapas, who was the first to call for a modern revival, with ideas from the Greek poet Panagiotis Sotosos, who began promoting the idea in 1833. Brooke's first British Olympic Games in London in 1866 were a success, attracting large crowds and talented athletes. However, his subsequent attempts were less successful, plagued by public indifference and opposition from rival sports his group. Rather than give up, Brooks launched a campaign to establish an International Olympic Games in Athens in the 1880s.

When Coubertin tried to consult Brooks about physical education, Brooks talked more about the revival of the Olympics and showed him documents related to both the Greek and British Olympics. He also showed Coubertin's newspaper article detailing his own proposals for the International Olympics. On November 25, 1892, at a meeting of the Union des Sports Athletic in Paris, without mentioning Brooks or these early modern Olympics, Coubertin himself put forward the idea of ​​reviving the Olympics, calling for a new He advocated the aspirations of the times. of international sports. 

Olympic And The Politics

The Olympics, being an international event, have been plagued by nationalism, manipulation, and propaganda associated with global politics. The politicisation of the Olympics was evident as early as the first modern Games in Athens in 1896, when an Australian athlete was forced to declare himself British by the British. The Berlin Games of 1936 were marred by Nazi propaganda, while the Soviet-Hungarian friction at the 1956 Games in Melbourne followed the brutal suppression of a revolution in Hungary by the USSR that same year. During the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in unofficial contests for "points" (medal counts), leading to controversies. The 1976 Montreal Games were marked by disputes between China and Taiwan, while South Africa's apartheid policy from 1968 to 1988 resulted in manifold disputes. The 1980 Moscow Games were boycotted by the United States in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, followed by the Soviet bloc's retaliatory boycott of the 1984 Los Angeles Games. The worst incident was the murder of Israeli athletes by terrorists at the 1972 Games in Munich, West Germany.

Even national politics has affected the Games, as seen in the 1968 Mexico City Games, where Mexican troops fired upon Mexican students protesting government expenditures on the Olympics while the country had pressing social problems. Political tension within the United States also boiled over at the Mexico City Games when African American athletes either boycotted the Games or staged demonstrations to protest continuing racism at home. 

India and Olympic 

India participated in its first Olympics in 1900 in Paris, where Norman Pritchard represented the country as its sole athlete and won two silver medals in the 200m sprint and 200m hurdles. India's first multi-sport Olympic team was sent to the 1920 Antwerp Olympics, comprising five athletes - three in athletics and two in wrestling.

In 1924, India made its tennis debut at the Paris Olympics, with five players (four male and one female) participating in the singles events, and two pairs playing men's doubles and one in mixed doubles. The 1928 Amsterdam Olympics marked the beginning of India's glorious run in hockey. The Indian men's hockey team led by the iconic Dhyan Chand, won their first Olympic gold medal, scoring 29 goals and conceding none.

They repeated this feat at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics and the 1936 Berlin Olympics, completing an unforgettable hat-trick and establishing themselves as the world's most dominant hockey team. The occurrence of the Olympics in 1940 and 1944 was cancelled on account of World War II, and in 1947, India achieved self-rule from the British Empire. Therefore, India partook in its initial Summer Games as an independent nation during the 1948 London Olympics.

During the 1948 Olympics, India dispatched its largest group of 86 athletes to compete in nine sports, and the Indian hockey squad continued to reign supreme, securing its fourth Olympic gold medal and introducing a new star player, Balbir Singh Sr. The Indian hockey team successfully repeated its accomplishment at the 1952 and 1956 Olympics.

In the history of Indian Olympics, the year 2008 marked a significant turning point as Abhinav Bindra, a shooter, secured the country's first individual gold medal in the 10m Air Rifle event. The year also witnessed the triumphant victories of boxer Vijender Singh and wrestler Sushil Kumar, who won bronze medals, resulting in India winning multiple medals in a single Games for the first time since 1952. In the 2012 London Olympics, Saina Nehwal created history by winning India's first Olympic medal in badminton. 

The same year saw Sushil Kumar clinch his second Olympic medal while Gagan Narang, Vijay Kumar, Mary Kom, and Yogeshwar Dutt also emerged victorious, bringing India's medal tally to six, which remains the country's most significant haul at the Summer Games. The Rio 2016 Olympics saw only two Indian medallists, PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik, making it the first time that the nation's medal tally was entirely made up of female athletes.

India's performance at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics was remarkable, with the country returning with seven medals. The men's hockey team broke the 41-year Olympic medal drought by winning a bronze medal, and the women's team recorded its best-ever finish by securing fourth place. The highlight of the campaign was Neeraj Chopra who won India's first gold medal in track-and-field in the javelin throw event, making it the country's first gold medal since Abhinav Bindra's victory at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Neeraj Chopra's gold medal came in India's final event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, providing a poetic end to the campaign. 

And today India have total 35 olympic medals , 10 golds , 9 silvers and 16 Bronze. 


The Olympics serve as a remarkable occasion for fostering harmony among diverse nations through their representatives who come together to participate. The Games promote a sense of togetherness and camaraderie, which holds immense significance in the current political climate. Furthermore, the Games prove to be advantageous for athletes who are recognized for their hard work and talent showcased during the event. Winning medals also evokes a feeling of national pride in the athletes, who are celebrated and honoured by their respective countries.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the Frenchman credited with initiating the Games, would have been pleased to witness the Games' continued success in upholding his vision and purpose. The same spirit of brotherhood that he envisioned is still evident today.


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