Over the years, civil strife, economic embargoes, and fear of terrorism and retaliation have cast dark shadows over the games. However, the motto for the Olympics is “Swifter, Higher, Stronger.” The essence of the games is more than competition. From the five, interlaced rings (one for each continent) to the Torch Relay, the Olympics are about coming together as a community. That’s exactly what the 2012 Olympics hopes to achieve.
July 27, 2012, marks the beginning of the Games of the XXX Olympiad. The world’s best athletes have arrived in London to proudly compete on behalf of their countries like the thousands that have come before them.
Ancient Olympics History
The ancient Olympic Games began as a way for the Greek community to honor the Olympian gods during religious festivals. The first recorded games began in 776 B.C., but it may have started 500 years earlier. Every four years, Greek men were allowed to participate in events like chariot races, discus throws, and wrestling. The games came to an end in 393 A.D. when the Christian Emperor Theodosius stopped all “pagan” celebrations.
Over 1, 500 years later, many nations became fascinated with the idea of resurrecting the games and building companionships between various countries through friendly competition. The first modern Olympic Games began in its birthplace of Greece in 1896. The game featured 241 male competitors from 14 nations. And they competed in 43 different sporting events including fencing, weightlifting, and tennis.
Now, 116 years later, the 2012 Olympics has just begun and already there is so much to celebrate. The global community has expanded and now 204 nations will be competing in the XXX Olympiad. The estimated number of participating athletes (both male and female) has also increased to 17,000. And the number of sporting events has grown from 43 to 302.
So, no matter what country you’ll be cheering for in the next few weeks, take a moment to reminisce on the spirit in which the games have started. Win or lose just by participating, each country is taking a step forward in international relations… for peace and global unity.