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HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE OLYMPICS

V. Ryan © 2004

 

Ancient Greece was the birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games. It was called the Olympic Festival and was held every four years.

This has been adopted by the modern Olympic Movement. The ancient festival lasted for five days. Animal sacrifices were made and a number of athletic contests took place including; a stadium race, wrestling, a form of boxing, horse riding events and a pentathlon (jumping, running, javelin, discus and wrestling). The contest winners were crowned with a wreath of wild olive and gained great honour. All Greeks were allowed to enter the contest with the exception of barbarians and slaves. The ancient Olympic Festival continued until the end of the Greek Empire, over two thousand years ago.

WAS ARCHERY ONE OF THE ORIGINAL SPORTS OF THE OLYMPIC FESTIVAL?

   

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, said “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. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.”

 

The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896, chosen as recognition of the original Greek Festival. It also has the best known Ancient Greek monuments such as the magnificent 'Parthenon'. The aim was to create a games in which people from around the world would meet and compete in a friendly atmosphere.

At the opening ceremony, one athlete from each country takes an oath which represents the meaning of the Modern Olympics.
"In the name of all competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams."

THE FAMOUS 'PARTHENON', ATHENS

 

   

THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC)

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) , based in Lausanne, Switzerland, controls and manages the Olympic Movement. It’s members are from all over the world.

   

THE OLYMPIC MOTTO

The Olympic motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius" is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Braver". This is translated to mean, "Swifter, Higher, Stronger."

   

QUESTIONS:

1. List the important points from the notes above. You may find these useful when you start your design work.

2. Draw a simplified map of Greece and mark on the major places, such as Athens. Add colour and shade. Consider adding small drawings and pictures that show the location of important places and buildings such as the Parthenon in Athens.

 
 
   

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