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The Olympic Gamesare a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition.HP HSTNN-IB0N Battery

The Games are currently held every two years, with Summer and Winter Olympic Games alternating, although they occur every four years within their respective seasonal games. Since 2008, host cities are contracted to manage both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games, where athletes who have a physical disabilitycompete.HP HSTNN-IB0X Battery

The Paralympics are held immediately following their respective Olympic Games. Originally, the ancient Olympic Games were held inOlympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 5th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894.HP HSTNN-LB0W Battery

The IOC has since become the governing body of the Olympic Movement, whose structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter.

The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in several changes to the Olympic Games.HP HSTNN-OB0X Battery

Some of these adjustments include the creation of the Winter Games for ice and winter sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with a physical disability, and the Youth Olympic Games for teenage athletes. The IOC has had to adapt to the varying economic, political, and technological realities of the 20th century.HP HSTNN-OB0Y Battery

As a result, the Olympics shifted away from pure amateurism, as envisioned by Coubertin, to allow participation of professional athletes. The growing importance of the mass media created the issue of corporate sponsorship and commercialization of the Games. World Wars led to the cancellation of the 1916, 1940, and 1944 Games.HP HSTNN-Q61C Battery

Large boycotts during the Cold War limited participation in the 1980 and 1984 Games.

The Olympic Movement consists of international sports federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), and organizing committees for each specific Olympic Games.HP HSTNN-Q62C Battery

As the decision-making body, the IOC is responsible for choosing the host city for each Olympic Games. The host city is responsible for organizing and funding a celebration of the Games consistent with the Olympic Charter. The Olympic program, consisting of the sports to be contested at the Games, is also determined by the IOC.HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

The celebration of the Games encompasses many rituals and symbols, such as the Olympic flag and torch, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. There are over 13,000 athletes that compete at the Summer and Winter Olympics in 33 different sports and nearly 400 events.HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

The first, second, and third place finishers in each event receive gold, silver, and bronze medals, respectively.

The Games have grown in scale to the point that nearly every nation is represented. Such growth has created numerous challenges, including boycotts, doping, bribery of officials, and terrorism.HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

Every two years, the Olympics and its media exposure provide unknown athletes with the chance to attain national, and in particular cases, international fame. The Games also constitute a major opportunity for the host city and country to showcase themselves to the world.HP NBP6A174 Battery

Ancient Olympics

The Ancient Olympic Games was a series of competitions held between representatives of several city-states and kingdoms from Ancient Greece, which featured mainly athletic but also combat and chariot racing events.HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

During the Olympic games all struggles against the participating city-states were postponed until the games were finished.[3]The origin of these Olympics is shrouded in mystery and legend. One of the most popular myths identifiesHeracles and his father Zeus as the progenitors of the Games.HP NBP6A175 Battery

According to legend, it was Heracles who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of holding them every four years.[8]A legend persists that after Heracles completed his twelve labors, he built the Olympic stadium as an honor to Zeus.HP NBP6A175B1 Battery

Following its completion, he walked in a straight line for 200 steps and called this distance a "stadion" (Greek: ???????, Latin: stadium, "stage"), which later became a unit of distance. Another myth associates the first Games with the ancient Greek concept of Olympic truce (?????????,ekecheiria).HP WD548AA Battery

The most widely accepted date for the inception of the Ancient Olympics is 776 BC; this is based on inscriptions, found at Olympia, of the winners of a footrace held every four years starting in 776 BC. The Ancient Games featured running events, a pentathlon,HP WD549AA Battery

(consisting of a jumping event, discus and javelin throws, a foot race and wrestling), boxing, wrestling, and equestrian events.Tradition has it that Coroebus, a cook from the city of Elis, was the first Olympic champion. HP Envy 17 Notebook PC Battery

The Olympics were of fundamental religious importance, featuring sporting events alongside ritual sacrifices honoring both Zeus (whose famous statue by Phidias stood in his temple at Olympia) andPelops, divine hero and mythical king of Olympia. Pelops was famous for his chariot race with King Oenomaus of Pisatis.HP Envy 17T Battery

The winners of the events were admired and immortalized in poems and statues. The Games were held every four years, and this period, known as an Olympiad, was used by Greeks as one of their units of time measurement. The Games were part of a cycle known as the Panhellenic Games, which included the Pythian Games, the Nemean Games, and the Isthmian Games.HP HSTNN-Q61C Battery

The Olympic Games reached their zenith in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, but then gradually declined in importance as the Romans gained power and influence in Greece. There is no consensus on when the Games officially ended, the most common-held date is 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I declared that all pagan cults and practices be eliminated.HP GSTNN-Q62C Battery

Another date cited is 426 AD, when his successor Theodosius II ordered the destruction of all Greek temples.After the demise of the Olympics, they were not held again until the late 19th century.


An English lawyer named Robert Dover created the Cotswold Olimpick Games in 1612.HP HSTNN-IB1E Battery

This multi-sport event, which continues to this day, has been acknowledged by the British Olympic Association as a precursor to the Modern Olympic Games. An attempt to emulate the ancient Olympic Games was the L'Olympiade de la République, a national Olympic festival held annually from 1796 to 1798 in Revolutionary France.HP HSTNN-IB0X Battery

The competition included several disciplines from the ancient Greek Olympics. The 1796 Games also marked the introduction of the metric system into sport.

In 1850 an Olympian Class was started by Dr William Penny Brookes at Much Wenlock, in Shropshire, England.HP HSTNN-OB0X Battery

In 1859, Dr Brookes changed the name to Wenlock Olympian Games. This annual sports festival continues to this day. The Wenlock Olympian Society was founded by Dr. Brookes on November 15, 1860.

Between 1862 and 1867, Liverpool held an annual Grand Olympic Festival.HP HSTNN-YB0X Battery

Devised by John Hulley and Charles Melly, in cooperation with Dr Brookes, these games were elitist in nature since only Gentlemen could compete. Some of the Gentlemen brought their coaches with them.The programme for Athens 1896 had similarities to that of the Liverpool Olympics,HP 586006-361 Battery

but that was to be expected since Dr. Brookes had incorporated events from the 1859 Athens Olympics programme at Much Wenlock and had contributed to the programme at Liverpool. In 1865 Hulley, Dr. Brookes and E.G. Ravenstein founded the National Olympian Association in Liverpool, a forerunner of the British Olympic Association.HP NBP6A174 Battery

Its articles of foundation provided the framework for the International Olympic Charter. In 1866, a national Olympic Games in Great Britain was organized at London's Crystal Palace.


Greek interest in reviving the Olympic Games began with the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821.HP NBP6A174B1 Battery

It was first proposed by poet and newspaper editor Panagiotis Soutsos in his poem "Dialogue of the Dead", published in 1833.Evangelis Zappas, a wealthy Greek-Romanian philanthropist, first wrote to King Otto of Greece, in 1856, offering to fund a permanent revival of the Olympic Games.HP 588178-141 Battery

Zappas sponsored the first Olympic Games in 1859, which was held in an Athens city square. Athletes participated from Greece and the Ottoman Empire. Zappas funded the restoration of the ancient Panathenaic stadium so that it could host all future Olympic Games.HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter

The Panathinaiko Stadium hosted Olympics in 1870 and 1875. Thirty thousand spectators attended that Games in 1870 though no official attendance records are available for the 1875 Games. In 1890, after attending the Olympian Games of the Wenlock Olympian Society, Baron Pierre de Coubertin was inspired to found the International Olympic Committee (IOC).Sony NP-F330 Battery

Coubertin built on the ideas and work of Brookes and Zappas with the aim of establishing internationally rotating Olympic Games that would occur every four years. He presented these ideas during the first Olympic Congress of the newly created International Olympic Committee.Asus Eee PC 904HA Adapter

This meeting was held from June 16 to June 23, 1894, at the Sorbonne University in Paris. On the last day of the Congress, it was decided that the first Olympic Games, to come under the auspices of the IOC, would take place in Athens in 1896.he IOC elected the Greek writer Demetrius Vikelas as its first president.Nikon D80  Battery

1896 Games

The first Games held under the auspices of the IOC was hosted in the Panathenaic stadium in Athens in 1896. These Games brought together 14 nations and 241 athletes who competed in 43 events. Zappas and his cousin Konstantinos Zappas had left the Greek government a trust to fund future Olympic Games.Sony PCGA-AC19V9 Adapter

This trust was used to help finance the 1896 Games. George Averoff contributed generously for the refurbishment of the stadium in preparation for the Games. The Greek government also provided funding, which was expected to be recouped through the sale of tickets to the Games and from the sale of the first Olympic commemorative stamp set.Dell T555C Battery

The Greek officials and public were enthusiastic about the experience of hosting these Games. This feeling was shared by many of the athletes, who even demanded that Athens be the host of the Olympic Games on a permanent basis. The IOC did not approve this request.HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL Battery

The committee planned that the modern Olympics would rotate internationally. As such they decided to hold the second Games in Paris.

Changes and adaptations

After the success of the 1896 Games, the Olympics entered a period of stagnation that threatened their survival.HP Pavilion DV7-2085EL Battery

The Olympic Games held at the ParisExposition in 1900 and the World's Fair at St. Louis in 1904 were side-shows. The Games at Paris did not have a stadium, however this was the first time women took part in the games. The St. Louis Games hosted 650 athletes, but 580 were from the United States.HP Pavilion DV9700 Battery

The homogeneous nature of these celebrations was a low point for the Olympic Movement. The Games rebounded when the 1906 Intercalated Games (so-called because they were the second Games held within the third Olympiad) were held in Athens. These Games are not officially recognized by the IOC and no Intercalated Games have been held since.HP Mini 702EA Battery

These Games, which were hosted at the Panathenaic stadium in Athens, attracted a broad international field of participants, and generated great public interest. This marked the beginning of a rise in both the popularity and the size of the Olympics. HP Pavilion DV7-1120EO Battery

Winter Games

The Winter Olympics were created to feature snow and ice sports that were logistically impossible to hold during the Summer Games. Figure skating (in 1908 and 1920) and ice hockey (in 1920) were featured as Olympic events at the Summer Olympics.HP Compaq 491278-001 Battery

The IOC desired to expand this list of sports to encompass other winter activities. At the 1921 Olympic Congress, in Lausanne, it was decided to hold a winter version of the Olympic Games. A winter sports week (it was actually 11 days) was held in 1924 in Chamonix, France; this event became the first Winter Olympic Games.HP Pavilion DV6-1030US Battery

The IOC mandated that the Winter Games be celebrated every four years on the same year as their summer counterpart. This tradition was upheld until the 1992 Games in Albertville, France; after that, beginning with the 1994 Games, the Winter Olympics were held on the third year of each Olympiad.HP Compaq 490306-001 Battery


In 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttmann, determined to promote the rehabilitation of soldiers after World War II, organized a multi-sport event between several hospitals to coincide with the 1948 London Olympics. Guttmann's event, known then as the Stoke Mandeville Games, became an annual sports festival.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM Battery

Over the next twelve years, Guttmann and others continued their efforts to use sports as an avenue to healing. For the 1960 Olympic Games, in Rome, Guttmann brought 400 athletes to compete in the "Parallel Olympics", which became known as the first Paralympics. Since then, the Paralympics have been held in every Olympic year.HP EliteBook 2530P Battery

As of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the host city for the Olympics has also played host to the Paralympics. In 2001 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) signed an agreement which guaranteed that host cities would be contracted to manage both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.HP Pavilion DV4385EA Battery

The agreement came into effect at the Summer Games in Beijing 2008, and the Winter Games in Vancouver 2010. Chairman of the London organising committee, Lord Coe, said about the 2012 Summer Paralympics and Olympics in London, England, that

We want to change public attitudes towards disability, celebrate the excellence of Paralympic sport and to enshrine from the very outset that the two Games are an integrated whole.Compaq PP2100 Battery

Youth Games

In 2010, the Olympic Games were complemented by Youth Games, where athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 will compete. The Youth Olympic Games were conceived by IOC president Jacques Rogge in 2001 and approved during the 119th Congress of the IOC.HP Compaq KU532AA Battery

The first Summer Youth Games were held in Singapore from 14–26 August 2010, while the inaugural Winter Games will be hosted in Innsbruck, Austria, two years later. These Games will be shorter than the senior Games; the summer version will last twelve days, while the winter version will last nine days.HP Pavilion DV6-1270EQ Battery

The IOC will allow 3,500 athletes and 875 officials to participate at the Summer Youth Games, and 970 athletes and 580 officials at the Winter Youth Games. The sports to be contested will coincide with those scheduled for the traditional senior Games, however there will be a reduced number of disciplines and events. HP Pavilion DV4385EA Battery

Recent games

From 241 participants representing 14 nations in 1896, the Games have grown to about 10,500 competitors from 204 countries at the 2008 Summer Olympics. The scope and scale of the Winter Olympics is smaller. For example, Turin hosted 2,508 athletes from 80 countries competing in 84 events, during the 2006 Winter Olympics.HP Compaq Business  NC4400 Battery

During the Games most athletes and officials are housed in the Olympic village. This village is intended to be a self-contained home for all the Olympic participants. It is furnished with cafeterias, health clinics, and locations for religious expression. HP Pavilion ZD8227 Battery

The IOC allows nations to compete that do not meet the strict requirements for political sovereignty that other international organizations demand. As a result, colonies and dependencies are permitted to set up their own National Olympic Committees.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM Battery

Examples of this include territories such as Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and Hong Kong, all of which compete as separate nations despite being legally a part of another country.

International Olympic Committee

The Olympic Movement encompasses a large number of national and international sporting organizations and federations,Nikon D200 Battery

recognized media partners, as well as athletes, officials, judges, and every other person and institution that agrees to abide by the rules of the Olympic Charter. As the umbrella organization of the Olympic Movement, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is responsible for selecting the host city,Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

overseeing the planning of the Olympic Games, updating and approving the sports program, and negotiating sponsorship and broadcasting rights. The Olympic Movement is made of three major elements:Sony CYBER-SHOT DSC-T10  Battery

  • International Federations (IFs) are the governing bodies that supervise a sport at an international level. For example, the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) is the IF for football (soccer), and the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) is the international governing body for volleyball.HP Compaq Business 6715b Battery
  • There are currently 35 IFs in the Olympic Movement, representing each of the Olympic sports.
  • National Olympic Committees (NOCs) represent and regulate the Olympic Movement within each country. For example, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is the NOC of the United States.Kodak KLIC-7004 Battery
  • There are currently 205 NOCs recognized by the IOC.
  • Organizing Committees for the Olympic Games (OCOGs) constitute the temporary committees responsible for the organization of a specific celebration of the Olympics. OCOGs are dissolved after each Games, once the final report is delivered to the IOC.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

French and English are the official languages of the Olympic Movement. The other language used at each Olympic Games is the language of the host country. Every proclamation (such as the announcement of each country during the parade of nations in the opening ceremony) is spoken in these three languages,Canon Digital IXUS 90 IS Battery

or the main two depending on whether the host country is an English or French speaking country.


The IOC has often been criticized for being an intractable organization, with several members on the committee for life.HP 2133 Mini-Note PC Adapter

The leadership of IOC presidents Avery Brundage and Juan Antonio Samaranchwas especially controversial. Brundage was president for over 20 years, and during his tenure he protected the Olympics from untoward political involvement. He was accused of both racism, for his handling of the apartheid issue with the South African delegation, and anti-Semitism.Toshiba PA3536U-1BRS Battery

Under the Samaranch presidency, the office was accused of both nepotism and corruption.Samaranch's ties with the Franco regime in Spain were also a source of criticism.

In 1998, it was uncovered that several IOC members had taken bribes from members of the Salt Lake City bid committee for the hosting of the 2002 Winter Olympics,HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

to ensure their votes were cast in favor of the American bid. The IOC pursued an investigation which led to the resignation of four members and expulsion of six others. The scandal set off further reforms that would change the way host cities are selected, to avoid similar cases in the future.HP Pavilion DV9000 Adapter

A BBC documentary entitled Panorama: Buying the Games, aired in August 2004, investigated the taking of bribes in the bidding process for the 2012 Summer Olympics. The documentary claimed it was possible to bribe IOC members into voting for a particular candidate city.Dell Studio 1537 Battery

After being narrowly defeated in their bid for the 2012 Summer Games, Parisian Mayor Bertrand Delanoë specifically accused the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the London Bid Committee (headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe) of breaking the bid rules.HP PPP009H Adapter

He cited French President Jacques Chiracas a witness; Chirac gave guarded interviews regarding his involvement. The allegation was never fully explored. The Turin bid for the 2006 Winter Olympics was also shrouded in controversy. A prominent IOC member, Marc Hodler,Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

strongly connected with the rival bid of Sion, Switzerland, alleged bribery of IOC officials by members of the Turin Organizing Committee. These accusations led to a wide-ranging investigation. The allegations also served to sour many IOC members against Sion's bid and potentially helped Turin to capture the host city nomination.Dell PA-12 Adapter


The IOC originally resisted funding by corporate sponsors. It was not until the retirement of IOC president Avery Brundage, in 1972, that the IOC began to explore the potential of the television medium and the lucrative advertising markets available to them.Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T7/B  Battery

Under the leadership of Juan Antonio Samaranch the Games began to shift toward international sponsors who sought to link their products to the Olympic brand.


During the first half of the 20th century the IOC was run on a small budget.Dell LATITUDE M65 Battery

As president of the IOC from 1952 to 1972, Avery Brundage rejected all attempts to link the Olympics with commercial interest.Brundage believed the lobby of corporate interests would unduly impact the IOC's decision-making. Brundage's resistance to this revenue stream meant the IOC left organizing committees to negotiate their own sponsorship contracts and use the Olympic symbols.HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

When Brundage retired the IOC had US$2 million in assets; eight years later the IOC coffers had swelled to US$45 million. This was primarily due to a shift in ideology toward expansion of the Games through corporate sponsorship and the sale of television rights.Acer AS07B41 Battery"

When Juan Antonio Samaranch was elected IOC president in 1980 his desire was to make the IOC financially independent.

The 1984 Summer Olympics became a watershed moment in Olympic history. The Los Angeles-based organizing committee, led by Peter Ueberroth, was able to generate a surplus of US$225 million, which was an unprecedented amount at that time.Dell Vostro 1310 Battery

The organizing committee had been able to create such a surplus in part by selling exclusive sponsorship rights to select companies.The IOC sought to gain control of these sponsorship rights. Samaranch helped to establish The Olympic Program (TOP) in 1985, in order to create an Olympic brand.Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery

Membership in TOP was, and is, very exclusive and expensive. Fees cost US$50 million for a four year membership. Members of TOP received exclusive global advertising rights for their product category, and use of the Olympic symbol, the interlocking rings, in their publications and advertisements.HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery

Effect of television

The 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin were the first Games to be broadcast on television, though only to local audiences.The 1956 Winter Olympics were the first internationally televised Olympic Games, and the following Winter Games had their broadcasting rights sold for the first time to specialized television broadcasting networks—Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S Battery

CBS paid US$394,000 for the American rights, and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) allocated US$660,000. In the following decades the Olympics became one of the ideological fronts of the Cold War. Superpowers jockeyed for political supremacy, and the IOC wanted to take advantage of this heightened interest via the broadcast medium.Sony NP-FH100 Battery

The sale of broadcast rights enabled the IOC to increase the exposure of the Olympic Games, thereby generating more interest, which in turn created more appeal to advertisers time on television. This cycle allowed the IOC to charge ever-increasing fees for those rights.Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

For example, CBS paid US$375 million for the rights of the 1998 Nagano Games, while NBC spent US$3.5 billion for the broadcast rights of all the Olympic Games from 2000 to 2012.

Viewership increased exponentially from the 1960s until the end of the century. This was due to the use of satellites to broadcast live television worldwide in 1964, and the introduction of color television in 1968.Apple MacBook Pro Battery

Global audience estimates for the 1968 Mexico City Games was 600 million, whereas at the Los Angeles Games of 1984, the audience numbers had increased to 900 million; that number swelled to 3.5 billion by the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. However, at the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, NBC drew the lowest ratings for any Summer or Winter Olympics since 1968.Apple PowerBook G4 Battery

This was attributed to two factors: one was the increased competition from cable channels, the second was the internet, which was able to display results and video in real time. Television companies were still relying on tape-delayed content, which was becoming outdated in the information era.Acer BATBL50L6 Battery

A drop in ratings meant that television studios had to give away free advertising time.With such high costs charged to broadcast the Games, the added pressure of the internet, and increased competition from cable, the television lobby demanded concessions from the IOC to boost ratings.Canon EOS 450D Battery

The IOC responded by making a number of changes to the Olympic program. At the Summer Games, the gymnastics competition was expanded from seven to nine nights, and a Champions Gala was added to draw greater interest. The IOC also expanded the swimming and diving programs, both popular sports with a broad base of television viewers.Acer Travelmate 2400 Battery

Finally, the American television lobby was able to dictate when certain events were held so that they could be broadcast live during prime time in the United States. The result of these efforts was mixed: the ratings for the 2006 Winter Games, held in Torino, Italy,Dell Inspiron 1525 Adapter

were significantly lower than those for the 2002 Games, while there was a sharp increase in viewership for the 2008 Summer Olympics, staged in Beijing.


The sale of the Olympic brand has been controversial. The argument is that the Games have become indistinguishable from any other commercialized sporting spectacle.Compaq Presario 2100 Adapter

Specific criticism was levelled at the IOC for market saturation during the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Games. The cities were awash in corporations and merchants attempting to sell Olympic-related wares. The IOC indicated that they would address this to prevent spectacles of over-marketing at future Games.Acer Aspire 1362 Battery

Another criticism is that the Games are funded by host cities and national governments; the IOC incurs none of the cost, yet controls all the rights and profits from the Olympic symbols. The IOC also takes a percentage of all sponsorship and broadcast income.Toshiba Equium M50-192 Battery

Host cities continue to compete ardently for the right to host the Games, even though there is no certainty that they will earn back their investments.


The Olympic Movement uses symbols to represent the ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

The Olympic symbol, better known as the Olympic rings, consists of five intertwined rings and represents the unity of the five inhabited continents (America, Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe). The colored version of the rings—blue, yellow, black, green, and red—over a white field forms the Olympic flag.Acer Travelmate 2200 Adapter

These colors were chosen because every nation had at least one of them on its national flag. The flag was adopted in 1914 but flown for the first time only at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. It has since been hoisted during each celebration of the Games .HP Compaq 6735b Adapter

The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, a Latin expression meaning "Faster, Higher, Stronger". Coubertin's ideals are further expressed in the Olympic creed:

The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle.Dell Vostro 1000 Battery

The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.

Months before each Games, the Olympic flame is lit in Olympia in a ceremony that reflects ancient Greek rituals. A female performer, acting as a priestess, ignites a torch by placing it inside a parabolic mirror which focuses the sun's rays;HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

she then lights the torch of the first relay bearer, thus initiating the Olympic torch relay that will carry the flame to the host city's Olympic stadium, where it plays an important role in the opening ceremony. Though the flame has been an Olympic symbol since 1928, the torch relay was introduced at the 1936 Summer Games,Asus f82 Battery

as part of the German government's attempt to promote its National Socialist ideology.

The Olympic mascot, an animal or human figure representing the cultural heritage of the host country, was introduced in 1968.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

It has played an important part on the Games identity promotion since the1980 Summer Olympics, when the Russian bear cub Misha reached international stardom.[89]The mascots of the most recent Summer Olympics, in Beijing, were the Fuwa, five creatures that represent the five fengshui elements important in Chinese culture.HP Compaq Business 6910p Battery


As mandated by the Olympic Charter, various elements frame the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. Most of these rituals were established at the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp. The ceremony typically starts with the hoisting of the host country's flag and a performance of its national anthem.Compaq PRESARIO R3000 Battery

The host nation then presents artistic displays of music, singing, dance, and theater representative of its culture. The artistic presentations have grown in scale and complexity as successive hosts attempt to provide a ceremony that outlasts its predecessor's in terms of memorability.HP Compaq Business NX6110 Battery

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Games reportedly cost $100 million, with much of the cost incurred in the artistic segment.

After the artistic portion of the ceremony, the athletes parade into the stadium grouped by nation. Greece is traditionally the first nation to enter in order to honor the origins of the Olympics.Dell Latitude D610 Adapter

Nations then enter the stadium alphabetically according to the host country's chosen language, with the host country's athletes being the last to enter. During the 2004 Summer Olympics, which was hosted in Athens, Greece, the Greek flag entered the stadium first, while the Greek delegation entered last.Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter

Speeches are given, formally opening the Games. Finally, the Olympic torch is brought into the stadium and passed on until it reaches the final torch carrier—often a well-known and successful Olympic athlete from the host nation—who lights the Olympic flame in the stadium's cauldron. HP Compaq Business NX6325 Battery


The closing ceremony of the Olympic Games takes place after all sporting events have concluded. Flag-bearers from each participating country enter the stadium, followed by the athletes who enter together, without any national distinction.Dell Studio XPS 16 Battery

Three national flags are hoisted while the corresponding national anthems are played: the flag of Greece, to honor the birthplace of the Olympic Games; the flag of the current host country, and the flag of the country hosting the next Summer or Winter Olympic Games.Acer Aspire 5520 Battery

The president of the organizing committee and the IOC president make their closing speeches, the Games are officially closed, and the Olympic flame is extinguished. In what is known as the Antwerp Ceremony, the mayor of the city that organized the Games transfers a special Olympic flag to the president of the IOC,Acer TravelMate 5720 Adapter

who then passes it on to the mayor of the city hosting the next Olympic Games.After these compulsory elements, the next host nation briefly introduces itself with artistic displays of dance and theater representative of its culture.HP Compaq 6735s Adapter

Medal presentation

A medal ceremony is held after each Olympic event is concluded. The winner, second and third-place competitors or teams stand on top of a three-tiered rostrum to be awarded their respective medals. After the medals are given out by an IOC member, the national flags of the three medalists are raised while the national anthem of the gold medalist's country plays.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

Volunteering citizens of the host country also act as hosts during the medal ceremonies, as they aid the officials who present the medals and act as flag-bearers. For every Olympic event, the respective medal ceremony is held, at most, one day after the event's final.HP Compaq nc6230 Adapter

For the men's marathon, the competition is usually held early in the morning on the last day of Olympic competition and its medal ceremony is then held in the evening during the closing ceremony.


The Olympic Games program consists of 35 sports, 30 disciplines and nearly 400 events.Dell T117C Battery

For example, wrestling is a Summer Olympic sport, comprising two disciplines: Greco-Roman and Freestyle. It is further broken down into fourteen events for men and four events for women, each representing a different weight class. The Summer Olympics program includes 26 sports, while the Winter Olympics program features 15 sports.Asus x5dij-sx039c Battery

Athletics, swimming, fencing, andartistic gymnastics are the only summer sports that have never been absent from the Olympic program. Cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey,Nordic combined, ski jumping, and speed skating have been featured at every Winter Olympics program since its inception in 1924.Dell Inspiron 1464 Battery

Current Olympic sports, like badminton, basketball, and volleyball, first appeared on the program as demonstration sports, and were later promoted to full Olympic sports. Some sports that were featured in earlier Games were later dropped from the program.HP Compaq 6720s Adapter

Olympic sports are governed by international sports federations (IFs) recognized by the IOC as the global supervisors of those sports. There are 35 federations represented at the IOC. There are sports recognized by the IOC that are not included on the Olympic program.Dell Latitude D630 Adapter

These sports are not considered Olympic sports, but they can be promoted to this status during a program revision that occurs in the first IOC session following a celebration of the Olympic Games. During such revisions, sports can be excluded or included in the program on the basis of a two-thirds majority vote of the members of the IOC.HP Pavilion dm4 Battery

There are recognized sports that have never been on an Olympic program in any capacity, including chess and surfing.

In October and November 2004, the IOC established an Olympic Programme Commission, which was tasked with reviewing the sports on the Olympic program and all non-Olympic recognized sports.Sony NP-FS11 Battery

The goal was to apply a systematic approach to establishing the Olympic program for each celebration of the Games. The commission formulated seven criteria to judge whether a sport should be included on the Olympic program.  These criteria are history and tradition of the sport, universality, popularity of the sport, image, athletes' health,Dell Inspiron 1520 Adapter

development of the International Federation that governs the sport, and costs of holding the sport.  From this study five recognized sports emerged as candidates for inclusion at the 2012 Summer Olympics: golf, karate, rugby union, roller sports and squash.Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

These sports were reviewed by the IOC Executive Board and then referred to the General Session in Singapore in July 2005. Of the five sports recommended for inclusion only two were selected as finalists: karate and squash.Neither sport attained the required two-thirds vote and consequently they were not promoted to the Olympic program.Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

In October 2009 the IOC voted to instate golf and rugby union as Olympic sports for the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympic Games?

The 114th IOC Session, in 2002, limited the Summer Games program to a maximum of 28 sports, 301 events, and 10,500 athletes.Acer Aspire 5920 Battery

Three years later, at the 117th IOC Session, the first major program revision was performed, which resulted in the exclusion of baseball and softball from the official program of the 2012 London Games. Since there was no agreement in the promotion of two other sports, the 2012 program will feature just 26 sports.IBM Thinkpad T40 Adapter

The 2016 and 2020 Games will return to the maximum of 28 sports given the addition of rugby and golf.

Amateurism and professionalism

The ethos of the aristocracy as exemplified in the English Independent school greatly influenced Pierre de Coubertin.Nikon COOLPIX 4300 Battery

The independent schools subscribed to the belief that sport formed an important part of education, an attitude summed up in the saying mens sana in corpore sano, a sound mind in a sound body. In this ethos, a gentleman was one who became an all-rounder, not the best at one specific thing.Apple MB771 Battery

There was also a prevailing concept of fairness, in which practicing or training was considered tantamount to cheating. Those who practiced a sport professionally were considered to have an unfair advantage over those who practiced it merely as a hobby.Sony DSC-P5 Battery

The exclusion of professionals caused several controversies throughout the history of the modern Olympics. The 1912 Olympic pentathlon and decathlonchampion Jim Thorpe was stripped of his medals when it was discovered that he had played semi-professional baseball before the Olympics.Dell Inspiron 6400 Adapter

His medals were restored by the IOC in 1983 on compassionate grounds. Swiss and Austrian skiers boycotted the 1936 Winter Olympics in support of their skiing teachers, who were not allowed to compete because they earned money with their sport and were thus considered professionals.Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery

As class structure evolved through the 20th century, the definition of the amateur athlete as an aristocratic gentleman became outdated. The advent of the state-sponsored "full-time amateur athlete" of the Eastern Bloc countries further eroded the ideology of the pure amateur, as it put the self-financed amateurs of the Western countries at a disadvantage.Sony NP-FP50 Battery

Nevertheless, the IOC held to the traditional rules regarding amateurism. Beginning in the 1970s, amateurism requirements were gradually phased out of the Olympic Charter. After the 1988 Games, the IOC decided to make all professional athletes eligible for the Olympics, subject to the approval of the IFs.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

As of 2004, the only sports in which no professionals compete are boxing and wrestling, although even this requires a definition of amateurism based on fight rules rather than on payment, as some boxers and wrestlers receive cash prizes from their National Olympic Committees.Dell Latitude D820 Adapter

In men's football (soccer), only three professional players over the age of 23 are eligible to participate per team in the Olympic tournament.


The Olympic Council of Ireland boycotted the 1936 Berlin Games, because the IOC insisted its team needed to be restricted to the Irish Free State rather than representing the entire island of Ireland.Toshiba PA3399U-1BRS Battery

There were three boycotts of the 1956 Melbourne Olympics: Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland refused to attend because of the repression of the Hungarian uprising by the Soviet Union; Cambodia, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon boycotted the Games because of the Suez Crisis;Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery

and China (the "People's Republic of China") boycotted the Games because Taiwan (the "Republic of China") was allowed to compete in the games. In 1972 and 1976 a large number of African countries threatened the IOC with a boycott to force them to ban South Africa and Rhodesia, because of their segregationist regimes.Dell Latitude D830 Battery

New Zealand was also one of the African boycott targets, because its national rugby union team had toured apartheid-ruled South Africa. The IOC conceded in the first two cases, but refused to ban New Zealand on the grounds that rugby was not an Olympic sport.Dell Inspiron E1505 Adapter

Fulfilling their threat, twenty African countries were joined by Guyana and Iraq in a Tanzania-led withdrawal from the Montreal Games, after a few of their athletes had already competed. Taiwan also decided to boycott these Games because the People's Republic of China (PRC) exerted pressure on the Montreal organizing committee to keep the delegation from the Republic of China (ROC) from competing under that name.Asus Eee PC 1201PN Battery

The ROC refused a proposed compromise that would have still allowed them to use the ROC flag and anthem as long as the name was changed. Taiwan did not participate again until 1984, when it returned under the name of Chinese Taipei and with a special flag and anthem.Asus Eee PC 701 Adapter

In 1980 and 1984, the Cold War opponents boycotted each other's Games. Sixty-five nations refused to compete at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. This boycott reduced the number of nations participating to 81, the lowest number since 1956.Dell XPS M1330 Battery

The Soviet Union and 14 of its Eastern Bloc partners (except Romania) countered by boycotting the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984, contending that they could not guarantee the safety of their athletes. Soviet officials defended their decision to withdraw from the Games by saying that "chauvinistic sentiments and an anti-Soviet hysteria are being whipped up in the United States".fujifilm np95 Battery

The boycotting nations of the Eastern Bloc staged their own alternate event, the Friendship Games, in July and August.

There had been growing calls for boycotts of Chinese goods and the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in protest of China's human rights record, and in response to Tibetan disturbances and ongoing conflict in Darfur.Asus Eee PC 900 Adapter

Ultimately, no nation supported a boycott. In August 2008, the government of Georgia called for a boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics, set to be held in Sochi, Russia, in response to Russia's participation in the 2008 South Ossetia war.


The Olympic Games have been used as a platform to promote political ideologies almost from its inception.Sony VAIO PCG-713 Battery

Nazi Germany wished to portray the Nationalist Socialist Party as benevolent and peace-loving when they hosted the 1936 Games. The Games were also intended to show the superiority of the Aryanrace; a goal that was not met due in part to the achievements of athletes such as Jesse Owens,Dell Latitude D830 Adapter

who won four gold medals at this Olympics and Indian hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, who captained the British Indian field hockey team to a great victory against Germany. The Soviet Union did not participate until the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. Instead, starting in 1928, the Soviets organized an international sports event called Spartakiads.Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery

During the interwar period of the 1920s and 1930s, communist and socialist organizations in several countries, including the United States, attempted to counter what they called the "bourgeois" Olympics with the Workers Olympics.Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ4S  Battery

It was not until the 1956 Summer Games that the Soviets emerged as a sporting superpower and, in doing so, took full advantage of the publicity that came with winning at the Olympics.

Individual athletes have also used the Olympic stage to promote their own political agenda. At the 1968 Summer Olympics, in Mexico City, two Americantrack and field athletes,HP Compaq Business NX6320 Battery

Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who finished first and third in the 200 meter sprint race, performed the Black Power salute on the victory stand. The second place finisher Peter Norman wore an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge in support of Smith and Carlos.Canon POWERSHOT G2 Battery

In response to the protest, IOC President Avery Brundage told the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to either send the two athletes home or withdraw the track and field team. The USOC opted for the former.

Currently, the government of Iran has taken steps to avoid any competition between its athletes and those from Israel.y-pack.co.uk/laptop-battery/dell-latitude-e6500.html">Dell Latitude E6500 Battery

An Iranian judoka did not compete in a match against an Israeli during the 2004 Summer Olympics. Although he was officially disqualified for excessive weight, Arash Miresmaeli was awarded US$125,000 in prize money by the Iranian government, an amount paid to all Iranian gold medal winners.Dell LATITUDE D630 Battery

He was officially cleared of intentionally avoiding the bout, but his receipt of the prize money raised suspicion.

Use of performance enhancing drugs

In the early 20th century, many Olympic athletes began using drugs to improve their athletic abilities.Asus R33030 Adapter

For example, the winner of the marathon at the 1904 Games, Thomas Hicks, was given strychnine and brandy by his coach. The only Olympic death linked to doping occurred at the Rome Games of 1960. During the cycling road race, Danish cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen fell from his bicycle and later died.Dell Mini 1011 Battery

A coroner's inquiry found that he was under the influence of amphetamines. By the mid-1960s, sports federations were starting to ban the use of performance enhancing drugs; in 1967 the IOC followed suit.

The first Olympic athlete to test positive for the use of performance enhancing drugs was Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, a Swedish pentathlete at the 1968 Summer Olympics, who lost his bronze medal for alcohol use.toshiba pa3332u-1brs Battery

The most publicized doping-related disqualification was that of Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson, who won the 100 meter dash at the 1988 Seoul Olympics but tested positive for stanozolol. His gold medal was subsequently stripped and awarded to runner-upCarl Lewis, who himself had tested positive for banned substances prior to the Olympics.HP Compaq 6710b Adapter

In the late 1990s, the IOC took the initiative in a more organized battle against doping, by forming the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in 1999. There was a sharp increase in positive drug tests at the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2002 Winter Olympics. Several medalists in weightlifting and cross-country skiing were disqualified because of doping offenses.HP Compaq nx6325 Adapter

During the 2006 Winter Olympics, only one athlete failed a drug test and had a medal revoked. The IOC-established drug testing regimen (now known as the Olympic Standard) has set the worldwide benchmark that other sporting federations around the world attempt to emulate.Acer Aspire 5720 Adapter

During the Beijing games, 3,667 athletes were tested by the IOC under the auspices of the World Anti-Doping Agency. Both urine and blood tests were used to detect banned substances. Several athletes were barred from competition by their National Olympic Committees prior to the Games; only three athletes failed drug tests while in competition in Beijing.Toshiba Equium A110-252 Battery

Gender discrimination

Women athletes were first allowed to compete at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, but at the 1992 Summer Olympics thirty-five countries were still fielding all-male delegations. This number dropped rapidly over the following years. In 1996, Lita Fariman was the first woman to compete for Iran at the Olympics, in shooting.Acer Aspire 5052ANWXMi Battery

In 2000, Bahrain sent two women competitors for the first time: Fatema Hameed Gerashi and Mariam Mohamed Hadi Al Hilli.In 2004, Robina Muqim Yaar and Friba Razayee became the first women to compete for Afghanistan at the Olympics.Dell Mini 1011v Battery

In 2008, the United Arab Emirates sent female athletes (Maitha Al Maktoum competed in taekwondo, and Latifa Al Maktoum in equestrian) to the Olympic Games for the first time. Both athletes were from Dubai's ruling family.

By 2010 only three countries had never sent female athletes to the Games: Brunei, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

Brunei had taken part in only three celebrations of the Games, sending a single athlete on each occasion, but Saudi Arabia and Qatar had been competing regularly with all-male teams. In 2010, the International Olympic Committee announced it would "press" these countries to enable and facilitate the participation of women for the 2012 Summer Games;Dell Vostro 1510 Battery

Anita DeFrantz, chair of the IOC's Women and Sports Commission, suggested that countries be barred if they prevented women from competing. Shortly thereafter, the Qatar Olympic Committeeannounced that it "hoped to send up to four female athletes in shooting and fencing" to the 2012 Summer Games in London.Toshiba PA3534U-1BRS Battery

In Saudi Arabia, by contrast, national law explicitly prohibits women from competing at the Olympics - the only country where this is the case.

In 2008, Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, likewise called for Saudi Arabia to be barred from the Games, describing its ban on women athletes as a violation of the International Olympic Committee charter.Asus M50 Battery

Stating that gender discrimination should be no more acceptable than racial discrimination, he noted: "For the last 15 years, many international nongovernmental organizations worldwide have been trying to lobby the IOC for better enforcement of its own laws banning gender discrimination.Asus Eee PC 901 Battery

While their efforts did result in increasing numbers of women Olympians, the IOC has been reluctant to take a strong position and threaten the discriminating countries with suspension or expulsion." In July 2010, The Independentreported: "Pressure is growing on the International Olympic Committee to kick out Saudi Arabia,Dell Inspiron 6400 Battery

who are likely to be the only major nation not to include women in their Olympic team for 2012. Should Saudi Arabia send a male-only team to London, we understand they will face protests from equal rights and women's groups which threaten to disrupt the Games".HP Compaq Business NC6220 Battery

As for sports, there were 165 medal events for men at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and 127 for women. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, for the first time, female athletes will be able to compete in all the same sports as men, with the addition of women's boxing.Sony VGP-BPS9 Battery


Three Olympiads had to pass without a celebration of the Games because of war: the 1916 Games were cancelled because of World War I, and the summer and winter games of 1940 and 1944 were cancelled because of World War II.Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery

The South Ossetia War between Georgia and Russia erupted on the opening day of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Both President Bush and Prime Minister Putin were attending the Olympics at that time and spoke together about the conflict at a luncheon hosted by Chinese President Hu Jintao.HP Compaq nx7300 Adapter

When Nino Salukvadze of Georgia won the bronze medal in the 10 meter air pistol competition, she stood on the medal podium with Natalia Paderina, a Russian shooter who had won the silver. In what became a much-publicized event from the Beijing Games, Salukvadze and Paderina embraced on the podium after the ceremony had ended.HP Compaq 2510p Adapter

Terrorism has also threatened the Olympic Games. In 1972, when the Summer Games were held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by the terrorist group Black September in what is now known as the Munich massacre.Dell Studio PP39L Battery

The terrorists killed two of the athletes soon after they had taken them hostage and killed the other nine during a failed liberation attempt. A German police officer and 5 terrorists also perished. During the Summer Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta, a bomb was detonated at the Centennial Olympic Park, which killed 2 and injured 111 others.Nikon COOLPIX 5700  Battery

The bomb was set by Eric Robert Rudolph, an American domestic terrorist, who is currently serving a life sentence for the bombing. Security of the Olympic Games has been an increasing concern and focus for Olympic planners since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.Dell Studio XPS 16 Battery

Champions and medalists

The athletes or teams who place first, second, or third in each event receive medals. The winners receive gold medals, which were solid gold until 1912, then made of gilded silver and now gold-plated silver. Every gold medal however must contain at least six grams of pure gold.HP Compaq nx7400 Adapter

The runners-up receive silver medals and the third-place athletes are awarded bronze medals. In events contested by asingle-elimination tournament (most notably boxing), third place might not be determined and both semifinal losers receive bronze medals. At the 1896 Olympics only the first two received a medal;HP Pavilion DV6500 Adapter

silver for first and bronze for second. The current three-medal format was introduced at the 1904 Olympics.[citation needed]From 1948 onward athletes placing fourth, fifth, and sixth have received certificates, which became officially known as victory diplomas; in 1984 victory diplomas for seventh- and eighth-place finishers were added.Dell T117C Battery

At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, the gold, silver, and bronze medal winners were also given olive wreaths. The IOC does not keep statistics of medals won, but National Olympic Committees and the media record medal statistics as a measure of success.Acer PA-1650-02 Adapter

Host nations and cities

The host city for an Olympic Games is usually chosen seven years ahead of their celebration.  The process of selection is carried out in two phases that span a two-year period. The prospective host city applies to its country's Olympic Committee;Acer Aspire 5920G Adapter

if more than one city from the same country submits a proposal to its NOC, the national committee typically holds an internal selection, since only one city per NOC can be presented to the International Olympic Committee for consideration.Asus S1 Adapter

Once the deadline for submission of proposals by the NOCs is reached, the first phase (Application) begins with the applicant cities asked to complete a questionnaire regarding several key criteria related to the organization of the Olympic Games.HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery

In this form, the applicants must give assurances that they will comply with the Olympic Charter and with any other regulations established by the IOC Executive Committee. The evaluation of the filled questionnaires by a specialized group provides the IOC with an overview of each applicant's project and their potential to host the Games.Ibm Thinkpad T30 Battery

On the basis of this technical evaluation, the IOC Excutive Board selects the applicants that will proceed to the candidature stage.

Once the candidate cities are selected, they must submit to the IOC a bigger and more detailed presentation of their project as part of a candidature file.Dell Studio PP39L Battery

Each city is thoroughly analyzed by an evaluation commission. This commission will also visit the candidate cities, interviewing local officials and inspecting prospective venue sites, and submit a report on its findings one month prior to the IOC's final decision. During the interview process the candidate city must also guarantee that it will be able to fund the Games.HP Pavilion dv5 Adapter

After the work of the evaluation commission, a list of candidates is presented to the General Session of the IOC, which is assembled in a country that must not have a candidate city in the running. The IOC members gathered in the Session have the final vote on the host city.HP Compaq Business NC6400 Battery

Once elected, the host city bid committee (together with the NOC of the respective country) signs a Host City Contract with the IOC, officially becoming an Olympic host nation and host city.

By 2016, the Olympic Games will have been hosted by 44 cities in 23 countries, but by cities outside Europe and North America on only eight occasions.HP Compaq 490306-001 Battery

Since the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, the Olympics have been held in Asia or Oceania four times, a sharp increase compared to the previous 92 years of modern Olympic history. The 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro will be the first for a South American country. No bids from countries in Africa have ever succeeded.Compaq Presario CQ35-100 Battery

The United States has hosted four Summer and four Winter Olympics, more than any other nation. Among Summer Olympics host nations, the United Kingdom has been the host of two Games, and will host its third Olympics in 2012 in London. Germany, Australia, France, and Greece are the other nations to have hosted the Summer Olympics twice.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51 Battery

Among host cities, only Los Angeles, Paris, Athens and London have played host to the Olympic Games more than once- each holding that honor twice. With the 2012 Games scheduled to take place in London, the British capital will hold the distinction of hosting the modern Olympics Games three times, more than any other city.HP Pavilion ZE4500 Battery

Concerning the Winter Olympics, France has hosted three Games, while Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Japan, and Italy have hosted twice. The most recent Games were held in Vancouver, Canada's second Winter Olympics and third overall. The next Winter Games will be in Sochi, Russia in 2014, which will be the first time this nation has hosted.HP G62-100EB Battery

Art competitionsformed part of the modern Olympic Games during its early years, from 1912 to 1952. The competitions were part of the original intention of the Olympic Movement's founder, Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin. Medals were awarded for works of art inspired by sport, divided into five categories: architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture.HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX Battery

The juried art competitions were abandoned in 1954 because artists were considered to be professionals, while Olympic athletes were required to be amateurs. Since 1956, the Olympic cultural programme has taken their place.HP Pavilion DV6-1220SO Battery


With the founding of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, and the celebration of the first modern Olympic Games, French Baron Pierre de Coubertin saw the fulfillment of his ideals — men being educated in both mind and body, and competing in sport rather than war.HP EliteBook 6930P Battery

One of his other desires was to combine both art and sport, and he thus considered including artistic competition in the Olympic Games.

In May 1906, Baron de Coubertin organised a meeting in Paris for both IOC members and representatives of artists' organisations.HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA Battery

The meeting ended with a proposal to the IOC to organise artistic competitions at the Olympic Games in five areas (architecture, literature, music, painting, and sculpture). The works of art entered had to be inspired by sports.

Preparations were underway to hold such competitions at the 1908 Summer Olympics, which were scheduled for Rome, Italy.Compaq Presario CQ71 Battery

But the Italian organisers were faced with financial troubles and were forced to halt preparations, and the IOC awarded the organisation to London in 1907. The British organisers planned to hold the art competitions, but because of the short preparation time, they were cancelled. The organisers felt that artists would not have enough time to send in their works.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO Battery

Pierre de Coubertin was not discouraged, and sought to include the artistic events in the programme of the 1912 Summer Olympics, to be held in Stockholm, Sweden. Although the Swedes initially objected, opposing the idea of art combined with competition, they eventually gave in.HP G6000 Battery

The number of entrants was rather disappointing: only 35 artists are known to have sent works of art to Sweden, but gold medals were awarded in all five categories.

When the first post-war Olympic Games were held in war-ravaged Belgium, art contests were again on the programme, although they were little more than a sideshow.HP HDX X18-1005EA Battery

This was different for the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. The contests were taken seriously for the first time, and 193 artists submitted works. Remarkably, this figure also includes three Soviet artists, even though the Soviet Union officially did not take part in the Olympic Games, which they considered to be a "bourgeois" festival.HP Pavilion DV6-3013SL Battery

The growth continued at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, where over 1,100 works of art were exhibited in the Municipal Museum, not including the submissions in literature, music and architecture. Artists were allowed to sell their works at the close of the exhibition, which was rather controversial given the IOC's amateurism policy,HP Compaq HSTNN-IB62 Battery

which required all competitors to be amateurs. In Amsterdam, the number of events was also increased, as four of the five fields of art were subdivided, creating more events.

Because of the economy and the remote location of Los Angeles, participation in the athletic events of the 1932 Games was lower than that of 1928.HP Pavilion DV6100 Battery

The art competition did not suffer from this problem, and the number of art works entered remained stable. Their exhibition drew 384,000 visitors to the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art. Art contests were also held in Berlin (1936) andLondon (1948), with reasonable success, although the number of entered works had significantly dropped by 1948.HP EliteBook 2730P Battery

In 1949, a report was presented at the IOC meeting in Rome which concluded that practically all contestants in the art competitions were professionals, and that the competitions should therefore be abolished and replaced with an exhibition without awards or medals. This sparked a heated debate within the IOC.HP Pavilion DV9000 Battery

At a 1951 meeting, the IOC decided to reinstate the competitions for the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki. However, the Finnish organisers claimed there was insufficient time, and an art competition was not held. An art exhibition took place in its stead.HP Pavilion DV7 Battery

The issue continued to be debated within the Olympic Movement, and at the 49th IOC Session in Athens, 1954, the IOC members voted to replace the art contests with an exhibition for future Olympics. Several attempts have been made to re-include them, but without success.HP Pavilion DV7-1290EO Battery

The Olympics continue to be connected with art exhibitions, however. The Olympic Charter required organisers of the Olympic Games to include a programme of cultural events, to "serve to promote harmonious relations, mutual understanding and friendship among the participants and others attending the Olympic Games".HP Compaq Business 6735S Battery


From 1912 to 1948 rules of the art competition varied, but the core of the rules remained the same. All of the entered works had to be inspired by sport, and had to be original (that is, not be published before the competition).HP 540 Battery

Like in the athletic events at the Olympics, gold, silver, and bronze medals were awarded to the highest ranked artists, although not all medals were awarded in each competition. On a few occasions, in fact, no medals were presented at all.

Generally, it was permitted for artists to enter multiple works, although a maximum number was sometimes established. This made it possible for an artist to win multiple prizes in a single competition.HP Compaq Business NW9440 Battery

At one time or another, there were suggestions to also include dancing, film, photography, or theatre, but none of these art forms was ever included in the Olympic Games as a medal event.


Until the Amsterdam Games in 1928, the architectural competition was not divided into categories.HP Compaq Business  TC4400 Battery

The 1928 games introduced a town planning category. However, the division was not always clear, and some designs were awarded prizes in both categories.

Entries in this category were allowed to have been "published" before the Olympics. A notable example of this is the 1928 gold medal for architecture awarded toJan Wils for his design of the Olympic Stadium used in the same Olympics.HP Compaq 491278-001 Battery


The literature competitions were divided into a varied number of categories. Until 1924 and again in 1932, there was only a single literature category. In 1928, separate categories were introduced for dramatic, epic, and lyric literature. Awards in these categories were also presented in 1948, while the drama category was dropped in 1936.HP HSTNN-LB31 Battery

Entered works were limited in length (20,000 words) and could be submitted in any language, provided they were accompanied by English and/or Frenchtranslations or summaries (rules varied over the years).HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM  Battery


A single event for music was held until 1936, when three categories were introduced: one for orchestral music, one for instrumental music, and one for both solo and choral music. In 1948, these categories were slightly modified into choral/orchestral, instrumental/chamber, and vocal music.HP Pavilion DV3-4000  Battery

The juries often had trouble judging the pieces, which were entered on paper. Possibly related to the problematic judging, juries frequently decided to award only a few prizes. On two occasions, no award was given out at all (in the 1924 music category and in the 1936 instrumental music category).HP Pavilion TX1000 Battery

1936 marked the only occasion when the winning musical works were actually played before an audience.

Josef Suk is the only well-known musician to have competed, winning a silver medal in 1932.HP Pavilion DV6-1210SA  Battery


As with the other art forms, a single painting category was on the programme until 1928, when it was split out into three sub-categories: drawings, graphic arts, and paintings. The categories then changed at each of the following Olympic Games.HP 448007-001 Battery

In 1932, the three categories were: paintings, prints, andwatercolors/drawings. Four years later, the prints category had disappeared, and had been replaced by graphic arts and commercial graphic art. At the final Olympic art competition, the three categories were applied arts and crafts, engravings/etchings, and oils/water colours.HP Compaq Business  6530B  Battery


The sculpture class had only a single category until 1928, when two separate competitions were designated; one for statues and one for reliefs and medals. In 1936, this was split up further, separating reliefs and medals into their own categories.HP Pavilion DV5-1211EM  Battery


While several of the Olympic art medallists have achieved at least national fame, few of them can be considered well-known artists globally. In fact, the 1924 Games featured better known jury members than artists, with artists like Selma Lagerlöf and Igor Stravinsky judging the entered works.HP Pavilion DV5-1015EA  Battery

Judging by the medals won, Luxembourg painter Jean Jacoby is the most successful Olympic artist, winning the gold medal for his 1924 painting Étude de Sport, and for his drawing Rugbyin 1928.Swiss artist Alex Diggelmann won three medals, a gold one in 1936 (for his poster Arosa I Placard),HP Pavilion DV6-1230SB Battery

and a silver and a bronze in the 1948 applied arts & crafts class, both with commercial posters.Danish writer Josef Petersen won a silver medal on three occasions: in 1924, 1932, and 1948.

Only two persons have won Olympic medals in both sport and art competitions.HP Pavilion ZD8181EA  Battery

Walter Winans, an American who lived in England, won a gold medal as a marksman at the 1908 Summer Olympics in the running deer (double shot) competition. In 1912, he won another shooting medal — silver this time — in the running deer team competition. By then, he had already won a gold medal for his sculpture An American trotter.HP Pavilion DV9500  Battery

The other Olympian with successes in both fields is Alfréd Hajós of Hungary. As a swimmer, he won two gold medals at the 1896 Athens Olympics. Twenty-eight years later, he was awarded a silver medal in architecture for his stadium design, co-designed with Dezs? Lauber.HP Pavilion DV4-1125BR  Battery

Two presidents of the International Olympic Committee have also been among the entrants in the Olympic art competitions. In 1912 Pierre de Coubertin, under thepseudonym "Georges Hohrod and Martin Eschbach", entered Ode to sport, which won the gold medal.HP Pavilion DV5-1111EA Battery

Avery Brundage, who competed as an athlete at the 1912 Games, entered literary works at the 1932 and 1936 Olympics, earning an honorary mention in 1932. He would serve as the IOC's president from 1952 to 1971.HP Pavilion DV6-1234TX Battery

Britain's John Copley, winner of a silver medal in the 1948 engravings and etchings competition, was 73 years of age, making him the oldest Olympic medallist in history. The oldest Olympic medallist outside the art competitions is Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn, who won his last medal at age 72.HP Pavilion DV3-2008TX  Battery

Special Olympicsis the world's largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 3.1 million athletes in 175 countries. Alternating between summer and winter, the Special Olympics World Games are held every two years.HP Pavilion DV8  Battery

Often the Games are the largest sporting event to take place in the World that year. There are also local, national and regional competitions in over 175 countries worldwide.


The first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago in 1968.HP Pavilion DV6-1215SA  Battery

Anne McGlone Burke, a physical education teacher with the Chicago Park District, began with the idea for a one-time Olympic-style athletic competition for people with special needs. Burke then approached Eunice Kennedy Shriver, head of the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation, to fund the event.HP Compaq 490306-001  Battery

Shriver encouraged Burke to expand on the idea and the JPK Foundation provided a grant of $25,000. More than 1,000 athletes from across the United States and Canada participated. At the Games, Shriver announced the formation of Special Olympics. Shriver’s sister, Rosemary Kennedy, underwent a lobotomy in an effort to alter her personality.Compaq Presario CQ50  Battery

The brain damage inflicted by the operation caused a severe permanent intellectual disability. This disability is often credited as Shriver's inspiration to form the Special Olympics.

In June 1962, Eunice Kennedy Shriver started a day camp, known as Camp Shriver, for children with intellectual disabilities at her home in Potomac, Maryland.HP Pavilion DV6-1223EO  Battery

Using Camp Shriver as an example, Shriver promoted the concept of involvement in physical activity and competition opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities. Camp Shriver became an annual event, and the Kennedy Foundation (of which Shriver was Executive Vice President) gave grants to universities, recreation departments and community centers to hold similar camps.HP Compaq 490306-001  Battery

In 1971, The U.S. Olympic Committee gave the Special Olympics official approval to use the name “Olympics”.

The first International Special Olympics Winter Games were held in February 1977 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA .

In 1988, the Special Olympics was officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).Compaq Presario CQ35-100 Battery

In 1997, Healthy Athletes became an official Special Olympics initiative, offering health information and screenings to Special Olympics athletes worldwide.

In 2003 the first Special Olympics World Summer Games to be held outside of the United States took place in Dublin Ireland. Approximately 7000 athletes from 150 countries competed over 18 disciplines.HP Compaq HSTNN-LB51  Battery

The Dublin games were also the first to have their own opening and closing ceremonies broadcast live, performed by President of Ireland Mary McAleese. Most significantly the 2003 Games dramatically changed the perceptions and attitudes of society regarding the abilities and limitations of people with intellectual disabilities.HP Pavilion ZE4500  Battery

The Opening Ceremony of the 2003 Games has been described by President of Ireland Mary McAleese as "a time when Ireland was at its superb best".

On October 30, 2004, President George W. Bush signed into law the "Special Olympics Sport and Empowerment Act," Public Law 108-406. The bill authorized funding for its Healthy Athletes, Education, and Worldwide Expansion programs.HP G62-100EB  Battery

Co-sponsored by Representatives Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Harry Reid (D-NV), the bills were passed by unanimous consent in both chambers.

In July 2006, the first Special Olympics USA National Games were held at Iowa State University. Teams from all 50 states and the District of Columbiaparticipated.HP Pavilion DV6-1211AX  Battery

In April 2007, a large group of athletes and volunteers in the San Diego area broke away from the Special Olympics to start a new group to serve athletes with developmental disabilities ages 5 through adult: SPORTS for Exceptional Athletes.

In 2008, the Special Olympics and Best Buddies International launched the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign to encourage individuals to stop using the word "retard" in everyday speech.HP EliteBook 6930P Battery

In 2010, the first Latin America Regional Special Olympics on U.S. soil was held in San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium.


The Special Olympics logo has gone through several changes in its lifetime. The "stick figure" is an abstract but humanistic form designed to convey the impression of movement and activity.HP Pavilion DV9500  Battery

The logo is a symbol of growth, confidence and joy among children and adults with disabilities who are learning coordination, mastering skills, participating in competitions and preparing themselves for richer, more productive lives. The spherical appearance of the logo is a representation of Special Olympics' global outreach.Compaq Evo N610C  Battery


More than three million athletes of all ages are involved in Special Olympics sports training and competition in over 170 countries. The organization offers year-round training and competition in 31 Olympic-type summer and winter sports. Families can also have the right and ability to get involved with the Special Olympics experience.HP Pavilion DM3-1050EO Battery

The job of a family member is to support their athlete to the best of their ability, which involves going to and volunteering at the events. By being involved they can boost their athlete's self-esteem and will be looked at as a constant source of encouragement.HP 586006-321 Battery

There are several events that families can get involved with, but the biggest event is the Torch Run. The Torch involves police chiefs, police officers, secret service, FBI agents, military police, sheriffs, state troopers, prison guards, and other law enforcement personnel.HP 586006-361 Battery

They all get together to raise $15 million for the Special Olympics. Law Enforcement officers would carry the torch in intervals along a planned route covering most of the state or country to the site of the opening ceremonies of the chapter or International Special Olympics Summer Games.HP 586028-341 Battery

Then they would pass the torch to an athlete and together they would run up to the cauldron and light it signifying the beginning of the games.

There are others who are involved with the athletes in the Special Olympics, they are coaches, volunteers, sponsors/donors, and spectators.HP h588178-141 Battery

The job of the coaches of the Special Olympics is to help the athletes be the best they can be despite the fact that they have some type of disability, and you don't have to have any type of experience to become a coach, the organization you are affiliated with will train you.HP 593553-001 Battery

The job of the volunteers of the Special Olympics is to create lifetime friendships and great rewards. Anyone over the age of 10 years old can be a volunteer. The job of the spectators of the Special Olympics is to just attend all the events and cheer the athletes on for encouragement.HP 593554-001 Battery

The Special Olympics oath is "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

These are only a few sports that the Special Olympics has to offer, there are many more sports available. Sports that the Special Olympics have to offer does vary.HP HSTNN-CB0W Battery

These sports vary depending on the specific organization you are with and depending on the state you are in. Special Olympic sports also vary because in the winter time the sports played are rarely the same as the sports played in the summer. The youth athletes (ages 2-7) play simple sports like basketball, soccer, racing, etc.HP HSTNN-CB0X Battery

The youth play these simple sports because they are not capable of doing the other sports due to their age. If Special Olympics volunteers do decide to let the youth play other sports it will be a different, but similar version of that game.HP HSTNN-I79C Battery

In 1968, track and field and swimming were the first two official sports offered by Special Olympics. As in the Olympics, events are introduced in training and then added to the competitive schedule, and from there the list of sports and events continued to grow.HP HSTNN-I81C Battery

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