Olympic Games have a history of about twenty eight hundred years. They were first played near Mount Olympus in Greece in 778 B.C. in honour of the Greek God Zeus.
These games were held once in every four years, up to 394 A.D. when they were stopped by a royal order of the Emperor of Rome. When they were stopped, competitions were held in literature, arts, dance and music besides sports. The Olympic Games were revived in 1894 by the effort of a French nobleman, Pierre-de-Coubertin.
Olympics where held in Athens (Greece) in 1984. From then onwards the modern Olympic Games are being held once in every four years. There was a break, however, during the period of World War – I and World War –II. The 20th Olympics were held in 1972 at Munich (Germany). Later Olympics were held at Montreal, Moscow, Los Angeles, Seoul and Barcelona. The 2010 Olympics were held at Beijing. The 2014 Olympics will be held in England.
Olympic Games attract athletes of different countries, from all parts of the world. It is a symbol of international friendship and brotherhood. The Olympic symbol consists of give rings or circles linked together. The five rings represent five different continents – Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and America. The linking represents unity. The five rings are of five different colours. They are Blue, Yellow, Black, Green and Red. The Olympic flag has interlinking rings on plain white background. The torch is first lit at Olympic in Greece and then taken to the place of meet by relay runners. Each athlete, who takes part in the games, has also to take an oath that he would respect and abide by the rules of the game.
Earlier, athletes who won were crowned by olive branches. In modern times, the winners are awarded medals and certificates. Those who come first, are awarded gold medals. Those who stand second are awarded silver medals and those who are third are awarded bronze medals.
Competitions are held generally in the following games and sports: (1) archery, (2) athletics, (3) badminton, (4) baseball, (5) basketball, (6) boxing, (7) canoeing, (8) cycling, (9) equestrian sports, (10) fencing, (11) football, (12) gymnastics, (13) handball, (14) hockey, (15) judo, (16) modern penthalan, (17) rowing, (18) shooting, (19) swimming, (20) table tennis, (21) tennis, (22) volleyball, (23) weightlifting, (24) wrestling and yachting.