Dear friends, Let introduce me My name is Artyom. I'm 13. I live in Pyatigorsk. I go to school №18. I'm in the 8th form. I'd like to tell you some facts from the history of the Olympic Games.
The Olympics have a very long history. They began in 776 B.C. and took place every four years for nearly 1200 years at Olympia, in Greece. The decree of that time was that there should be no wars during the Olympiad. At first the Olympics lasted only five days and the competition was only in running. The Olympic programme grew as the games developed and a lot of sports events were added: long-distance, racing, wrestling, the pentathlon, horse-back racing, etc.
The only prize for each contest was a garland of wild olive. An Olympian prize was regarded as the crown of human happiness. When the successful athletes returned home the wall to their city was broken in order to let them enter. So, they did not enter through the gate. The motto was "With such defenders we need no wall".
The ancient Greek Olympic Games were for men only. Women, foreigners and slaves were forbidden to compete.
When the Greeks lost their authority and became dependent on Rome the games almost stopped existing. They lasted till 394 A.D. Theodosius dismantled the Temple of Zeus and destroyed Olympia. He ended the ancient Olympics, and they weren't renewed until many centuries later.
Fifteen hundred years later, in 1894, a Frenchman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, persuaded people from fifteen countries to start the Olympic Games again. His words "It's a great honor to win, but still a greater honor to compete" became an Olympic motto. He hoped that the Games Would help to promote peace among nations. Two years later the first modern Olympics took place. Of course, they were held in Greece to symbolize the continuation of the centuries-old tradition.
It was not until the Fourth Olympics in London, in 1908 that women were allowed to compete for the first time. In 2000 in Sydney, for the first time, women competed in the same number of team sports as men
The Winter Olympics have been held since 1924. At first Scandinavians dominated in all kinds of Winter Sports, that's why the Flag of Norway was considered to be the flag of the Winter Games. Beginning in 1926 Winter Olympics were included. They were held in the same year as the Summer Games, but starting in 1994, the Winter Games are held two years after the Summer Games.
Russia joined the Olympic movement in 1952. Since then Soviet sportsmen have won a lot of gold, silver and bronze medals. Hundreds of athletes have become record-setters, a number of them more than once. In 1980 Moscow hosted the 22nd Olympic Games.
No Olympic Games can start without the Olympic Flame, the symbol of the spirit of friendly competition, which comes from the classic temple on Olympia, Greece. The opening and the closing of the Games are very spectacular ceremonies. One of the most famous Olympic traditions is the lighting of the Olympic flame. It is brought from Greece to the capital of the Games by relay. The Olympic flag has five coloured interlaced rings, representing the five parts of the world, on a white background. The motto of the Olympic Games is "Citius, Altius, Fortius" that means "Faster, Higher, Stronger".
The first of the modern series of games took place in Athens, in 1896. At the fourth Olympics, in 1908, in London, there were more that two thousand competitors, from twenty-one different countries. Since then, the number of athletes competing has increased each time. The International Olympic Committee at Lausanne, in Switzerland, decides where each Olympics will take place. They ask a city to be host - one city for the Winter Olympics and one for the Summer Olympic Games. Nearly 150 countries are represented in the International Olympic Committee.
The Olympic Games aren't just about winning. The real thrill is competing against the best players on earth. In the words of US sportsman Dot Richardson, "every athlete wants to face an opponent who's having the performance of a lifetime. That is when you truly find that you are the best."
In 2014 Sochi will host the XXII Winter Olympic Games.In conclusion I want to say that Pierre de Coubertin was right saying "It's a great honor to win, but still a greater honor to compete".