Meaning of OLYMPIC GAMES in English

athletic festival that originated in ancient Greece and was revived in the late 19th century. Before the 1970s the Games were officially limited to amateurs, but since that time many events have been opened to professional athletes. The earliest Olympic Games comprised many of the sports now included in the Summer Games. In 1924 the Winter Games were sanctioned for winter sports. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world's foremost sports competition. Just how far back in history organized athletic contests were first held remains a matter of doubt, but it is reasonably certain that they occurred in Greece, at least, some 3,500 years ago. However ancient in origin, by the end of the 6th century BC at least four of the Greek sporting festivals, sometimes called classical games, had achieved major importance. They were the Olympic Games, held at Olympia, the Pythian Games at Delphi, the Nemean Games at Nemea, and the Isthmian Games at Corinth. Later, similar festivals were held in nearly 150 cities as far afield as Rome, Naples, Odessus, Antioch, and Alexandria. The Olympic Games in particular were to become famous throughout the Greek world. There are records of the champions at Olympia from 776 BC to AD 217. The Games, held every four years, were abolished in AD 393 by the Roman emperor Theodosius I, probably because of their pagan associations. For the first 100 or 200 years, Olympic champions came from a dozen or more Greek cities, the majority from Sparta and Athens, but athletes in the next three centuries were drawn from 100 cities in the Greek empire, and champions in the final 100 years or so before the Games were discontinued came from as far as Antioch, Alexandria, and Sidon. In 1887 the 24-year-old Pierre, baron de Coubertin, conceived the idea of reviving the Olympic Games and spent seven years preparing public opinion in France, England, and the United States to support his plan. At an international congress in 1894, his plan was accepted and the International Olympic Committee was founded. The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in April 1896, with 13 nations sending nearly 300 representatives to take part in 42 events and 10 different sports. The revival of the Olympic Games led to the formation of many international bodies controlling their own amateur sports and to the creation of National Olympic Committees in countries throughout the world. Additional reading H.A. Harris, Greek Athletes and Athletics (1964, reissued 1979); E. Norman Gardiner, Greek Athletic Sports and Festivals (1910, reissued 1970), and Athletics of the Ancient World (1930, reprinted 1987); and M.I. Finley and H.W. Pleket, The Olympic Games: The First Thousand Years (1976), are histories of ancient games. Pierre de Coubertin, Olympic Memoirs (1979; originally published in French, 1931); Bill Henry and Patricia Henry Yeomans, An Approved History of the Olympic Games, new ed. (1984); John Kieran, Arthur Daley, and Pat Jordan, The Story of the Olympic Games: 776 BC to 1976, rev. ed. (1977); and Nicolaos Yalouris (ed.), The Eternal Olympics, trans. from Greek (1979), are reports of the Games up to modern times. Jeffrey O. Segrave and Donald Chu (eds.), The Olympic Games in Transition (1988), explores the development of and changes in the modern Games, and their Olympism (1981), focuses on the philosophy of the Olympics. The philosophy of Olympism is further analyzed in John Hoberman, The Olympic Crisis: Sport, Politics, and the Moral Order (1986). David B. Kanin, A Political History of the Olympic Games (1981), is an important study of the political aspects. An analysis of politics as well as athletics is found in Allen Guttmann, The Olympics: A History of the Modern Games (1992). John A. Lucas, Future of the Olympic Games (1992), addresses various problems of the modern Games and proposes solutions. John J. MacAloon, This Great Symbol: Pierre de Coubertin and the Origins of the Modern Olympic Games (1981), is a scholarly biography. Allen Guttmann, The Games Must Go On: Avery Brundage and the Olympic Movement (1984), concentrates on Brundage's tenure as president of the International Olympic Committee (194872). Lord Killanin (Michael Morris, Baron Killanin), My Olympic Years (1983), provides a personal account of Killanin's time as IOC president (197280). There are official reports of every celebration since 1904. Peter Lovesey and Tom McNab, The Guide to British Track and Field Literature, 12751968 (1969), includes 50 works on the Olympic Games. Bill Mallon, The Olympics: A Bibliography (1984), covers the Games from 1896 to 1980. Harold Maurice Abrahams The Editors of the Encyclopdia Britannica

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