Imagine you are in the Olympics. You can be in the Summer or Winter Olympics, you choose. You have just won a gold medal and are standing up on the podium with a heavy medal around your neck and a bouquet of flowers in your hand. You are looking around the arena at all your fans clapping and cheering. Instead of thinking about your latest victory, you are thinking about how the Olympics started and how they got to be so big, and how they have changed
The first recording of the Olympic Games dates all the way back, 2,800 years ago in ancient Greece. The early Olympic Games only had one competition, a short foot race. Over the years, they started to add more sporting events. The added events included chariot racing and a run wearing a full suit of armor. Men were the only participants. The law forbid women from competing in the games or even watching the games. Winners from the games were rewarded crowns of olive leaves instead of medals. The Olympic Games began to decline after the Romans conquered Greece. In the year 394, Theodosius I (the Roman Emperor) ordered the games to be stopped.
The Olympics returned in 1896, almost 3,000 years later. The modern Olympics began and were held in Athens, Greece. In 1900 the Olympics moved to Paris, France and for the first time in history, women were allowed to compete. In 1904 the Olympics were held in America in the city of St.Louis A few of the cities where the summer games have been held are London, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Rome and Rio De Janeiro, the most recent location. The tradition of hosting the Summer Olympics in different cities every four years still continues to this day. In 1924 the Winter Olympics were held for the first time. They included cold weather sports. The winter games are also held every four years in different cities such as Chamonix, Lake Placid, Squaw Valley and Pyeongchang County, where the latest games were held.
Many sports are played in the Summer and Winter Olympics. There are 42 summer events and 15 winter events. Some of the cold weather sports played in the Winter Olympics now are Alpine skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, ski jumping, snowboarding and speed skating. Diving, volleyball, gymnastics, swimming, tennis and basketball are some of the many sports played in the Summer Olympics. More countries attend the Summer Olympics than the Winter Olympics. Also, worldwide, the Summer Olympic sports are more popular.
Many changes have been made to the Olympics of long ago. Women now play a major role in the Olympics. Also, the games are so big that almost every nation participates. Changes are still being made today. For example, in 2020 the Summer Olympics are expected to have bouldering and speed climbing, which are both rock climbing sports.