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Many athletes dream of one day competing in the Olympic Games and taking home the gold. The Olympics are made up of the greatest athletes in the world competing for the most coveted and sought-after medals. It is an international sports festival that is held every four years with both Summer Games and Winter Games. While people are watching from all over the world supporting their country and hoping they’ll come out on top, the Olympics aren’t all about winning. 

Ultimately the goals of the Olympics are to cultivate people and contribute to world peace through sport. 

The History of the Olympic Games

More than 2,000 years ago, the first Olympic Games were held in ancient Greece. There are varying theories of the initial purposes of the Olympics in ancient times, but it’s generally believed that the Games began as a festival of art and sport to worship gods. The ancient Olympic Games ended in the year 393 due to outbreaks of wars, but the legacy lived on and the festival became what it is today. 

The Olympics took a 1,500-year hiatus before the festival resumed in the late nineteenth century. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French educator, proposed to revive the Olympic Games in 1894. Ultimately, his proposal was unanimously approved at the International Congress in Paris. The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece, two years later. Baron Pierre de Coubertin was also the creator of the five-ring emblem that is a familiar symbol for the Olympic Games symbol and represents the unity and solidarity of the five continents.

The Olympics Today

Today, the Olympic Games are “the world’s only truly global, multi-sport, celebratory athletics competition”. The Olympics now have more than 200 countries with over 400 events between the Summer and Winter Games. The world knows the Olympics as an event where the world comes together to compete and inspire. The Olympic Games have also branched out to include Youth Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

What is Olympism?

Olympism is the spirit of the Olympic Games that was advocated by Baron Pierre de Coubertin. According to Coubertin, “The elevation of the mind and soul, overcoming differences between nationalities and cultures, embracing friendship, a sense of solidarity, and fair play; ultimately leading to the contribution towards world peace and the betterment of the world.” This philosophy has been remained a cornerstone of the Olympics and is unchanged to this day. The Olympic Games represent togetherness, inspiration, and world peace through sports.