The Olympic Games is the world’s number one sports event. For athletes they mean a chance to win gold and glory. For all people they are a symbol of peace, hope, friendly cooperation between nations, fairness, high moral and physical standards.
The Olympic Games have a very long history. They began in 777 BC in Greece and took place every four years for nearly twelve centuries at Olympia. They included many different kinds of sports: running, boxing, wrestling, etc. All the cities in Greece sent their best athletes to Olympia to compete in the Games.
There have been two Olympic Games eras – ancient and modern.
Baron Pierre de Coubertin who was fascinated by the Ancient Olympics brought the classical games back to life. He organized an international conference in Paris. During this conference the international Olympic Committee was set up.
The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. The Greeks built a new stadium. 295 athletes from 13 countries took part. There were nine sports represented: cycling, tennis, gymnastics, swimming, athletics, weightlifting, rowing, wrestling and shooting.
Summer and Winter Games are held separately. There are always several cities wishing to host the Games. The most suitable is selected by the International Committee. After that the city of the Games starts preparations for the competitions, constructs new sports facilities, stadiums, hotels, press centre. Thousands of athletes, journalists and guests come to the Games, and it takes great efforts to arrange everything. There is always an interesting cultural programme of concerts, exhibitions, festivals, etc., for each Game.
And in conclusion I want to say that a lot of people are fans of the Olympics because they make them feel optimistic. The Games represent a positive symbol in a negative world.