While watching jeopardy this week, one of the questions asked was which sport was recently added to the sports performed at the Olympic Games. I was surprised to learn that it was trampolining. That made me aware that I really didn’t know much about the many different disciplines of the Olympics and their history.
In the tradition of the Olympic Games the flame was relayed to the designated location in London from Olympia, Greece, where the first games were taking place in 776 B.C. 8,000 English men and women participated in the relay alone in Great Britain to take the torch through the various communities. The London games started on July 27, 2012 and go until August 12, 2012. Here is the link to the official website: http://www.london2012.com
In modern times the games were revived by a French educator Baron Pierre deCoubertin, (1914-1920) in 1894. Ever since, every four years summer games were held, with some exception for war times or boycotts. The winter games are held also every four years, alternating two years after each summer event. The Olympic motto is:
"Citius, Altius, Fortius" (faster, higher, stronger).
Every participating athlete has to agree to the Olympic creed:
"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."
Reading this one has to wonder about the various politics going on regarding the sport events, as well as the abuse of drugs. Is there still fairness and true competition in the Games? Important is the focus on the standard and the experience itself for the athletes to excel and to find an arena for high performance. I believe that it is important to follow one’s own standard and compete to get better for the sake of improving one’s skills rather than battle for competitions sake. In the contest of athletes from 204 different countries from all 5 continents of the world often new records are broken. I hope we can see this time also some new records be reached and truly enjoy beautiful sports performances.
Here are some interesting facts for the Olympics in 2012:
archery, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe / kayak, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, gymnastics handball, judo, modern pentathlon, rowing, sailing, shooting, soccer / football, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, track and field, trampoline, triathlon (swimming, biking, running), volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestling.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has voted out baseball and softball for games in London.
Here are some historical photos of Olympic’s past.
Women were allowed for the first time in the 1900’s Olympic Games in Paris, France, 4 years after the games were revived. An 47 art student, Margaret I. Abbott, won an Olympic gold medal in a golf tournament.
Here are some facts from the About.com website:
· 1894 – Modern Olympic started and the marathon was introduced to commemorate the historical Olympics. The International Olympic Committee was founded at that time.
· 1900 – Women are allowed to compete for the first time in the Olympics.
· 1908 – Olympic Oath
· 1912 - Olympic medals are bronze, silver and gold-plated silver (not real gold as before.
· 1914 - Olympic flag was created representing all five continents.
· 1921 - Olympic motto
· 1928 - Olympic flame
· 1957 - Olympic hymn – became official, even though it had been played ever since the beginning of the modern games.
In the spirit of the Olympic cooperation and athletic fairness, may the 2012 Olympics in London truly bring us closer as international community until we meet again in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.