The Olympic Games
The Olympic Games were originally competitions held at Olympia in Ancient Greece. For the first time they were held in 776 before our era. There are two eras of the Olympic Games - ancient and since 1896 also modern era when baron Pierre de Coubertin revived the ancient principals.
There was always a flame at the ancient Games, because it was a symbol of perfection and victory. At the modern Games it started only in 1928. It is lit at Olympia from the rays of sun and it burns in the main station from the beginning to the end.
Ancient Games last 5 days and now the Summer Games last approximately 14 days. There are also the Winter Games, which began in 1924 and were held in the same years as the Summer Games. After 1992 they are held in between. So we have the Olympic Games every 2 years.
The Olympic symbol is 5 interlaced circles standing for the friendship of all the races from the 5 continents. These circles are against white background and their colours are blue, black, yellow, red and green. These 6 colours are chosen because every national flag of the world contains at least one of them.
Motto of the Olympic Games is "faster, higher, stronger." The aims of the Olympic movement are to promote sport, to create a more peaceful and friendly world, to bring athletes together in a great sport festival and to spread these Olympic principals.
The opening ceremony starts with huge display, which presents host country's culture and history. Important is to raise the flag, to lit the flame. Then they swear and host country´ s head officially opens the Games.
Each country has its own National Olympic Committee, which is in charge of all the teams that take part. The main worldwide organisation, the official body of the Olympic Games is International Olympic Committee, its seat is in Lousanne, Switzerland. Olympic athletes must be amateurs; they only get medals, not money. Silver and bronze medals are made of solid metal but gold medals are only gold-plated silver.
Since 1960 there are also Paralympics for people with physical handicap and in 1963 began Special Olympics for people with mental handicap.