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How and when did the Olympic games take a form of an event?

Origins of Olympics
Origins of Olympics- Image Source: BBC UK

As the pandemic played a spoilsport, the Olympics is finally set to commence next month. The multi-sport event was bound to take place in 2020.

Not focusing on the current edition of the Olympics, let us try and understand its origins. At first, the games took the shape in Greece and honor the god Zeus, more than 3000 years ago. There were no gold, silver and bronze medals. Winners were given a wreath of leaves and a hero’s welcome back home. Athletes competed for the glory of their city and winners were seen as being touched by the gods.

Before the games began, messengers were sent out to announce a ‘sacred truce’ or a peace. This meant that any wars should be called off so that people could travel safely to Olympia. The entire games were dedicated to Zeus. Visitors flocked to see the Temple of Zeus. Inside stood a huge gold and ivory statue of the king of the gods himself.

Every four years, around 50,000 people visited Olympia to witness and participate in the event. The first modern Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens, featured 280 participants from 13 nations. Since 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games are held separately. Both alternate every two years.

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