Written by Jaivir Dhingra, a grade 6 student.
The wait for the 2020 Olympic Games is finally over! The games which were supposed to take place in 2020 is taking place after almost a year, in 2021, all due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The opening ceremony on 23rd July witnessed an almost empty stadium with Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic flame. Japanese Emperor Naruhito, U.S. first lady Jill Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and other dignitaries attended the ceremony in person.
So, what are ‘The Olympic Games’?
The Olympic Games are a quadrennial sporting event in which athletes from all the countries participate and compete with each other. The goal of these games is to cultivate people and promote world peace by way of sports. This year, contingents from 206 nations are participating in this mega sporting festival.
There are two categories of these games, the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games which are held in a gap of 2 years.These games are held in different countries which are decided by the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by way of a secret ballot. This year it has been decided that the host for 2032 Olympic Games will be Brisbane (Australia).
You would have seen the iconic Olympic flag having 5 rings of different colourson a white background. These represent the union of athletes from 5 continents. An interesting fact about this flag is that one of the colours is present is each country’s flag. This flag was made by a Frenchman named Pierre de Coubertin in the late 1800s. In addition, he also developed the motto of modern Olympics which is, Citius, altius, forties, meaning “faster, higher, stronger”.
How it all began…
The first Olympic Games took place in 776 BCEin Olympia in southern Greece. These games were also known as Olympiad. That time it was considered a religious event in which athletes competed to honor Zeus the ancient king of gods. However, the games stopped in AD 394 when the Romans conquered the Greek. The Christian emperor Theodosius banned all pagan games. Then in the late 1800s it was revived by Pierre de Coubertin, with the first modern Olympics Games being held at Athens (Greece). In 1924 the Winter Olympics were introduced.
In ancient Olympicsthere were only 9 sports which were running, long jump, wrestling, chariot racing, shot put, javelin throw, boxing, Pankration and equestrian events.However, modern Olympics have 33 games.Some popular ones being swimming, gymnastics, boxing, shooting, football, badminton etc. This year 4 new sports have been added to the list which are skateboarding, surfing, karate, sports climbing. Baseball and softball are again added to the list.
For athletes with disabilities Paralympics are held after the main Olympic Games. The Tokyo Olympic games will have 22 Paralympic sports.
India at the Olympics
India first participated in the Olympics in 1900s. The first Indian to win a medal at Olympics before independence was Norman Pichard & the first Indian to win a medal at Olympics after our independence was Major Dhyan Chand. Recently Mirabai Chanu won a silver medal which was India’s first achievement at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Some of the sports in which India has won medals are boxing, shooting, badminton, lawn tennis, weightlifting etc.
It is the dream of every sports person to win the coveted Olympic Medal.
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