As the legends would have it, the Olympic Games, one of the world’s largest and grandest international multi-sporting event, was founded by Heracles, the son of Zeus. Zeus was considered one of the most important Olympic gods apart from Athena and Apollo. The Olympic Games were closely related to Religion and religious festivals of the cult of Zeus promoting a secular spirit, energy and accomplishment of the Youth and good relations between the cities of Greece. According to legends Heracles, first called the game “Olympic”, and established the custom of holding them every four years.
Written records suggest that the first Olympic Games were held in 776 BC which is based on the imprints found of the winners of a footrace held every four years starting from 776 BC. At this game a nude runner Coroebus, won the 192 meters race to become the first Olympic champion. The games were held in Olympia located in the western part of the Peloponnese, 145 km west of Athens, Greece, and comprised of only a few events where any male youngster from the various cities of Greece could participate to show off their physical qualities, it comprised of contests of music, sports and literature.
The game grew in course of time and was played every four years for nearly 1200 years. Gradually in due course of time the game lost its hold as the Romans gained power and hold over Greece. At around 393 AD, emperor Theodosius, invited the end of the games, blaming it of pagan influences. This event marked the end of the first generation of Olympic Games known as Ancient Olympic Games.
The second, known as the Modern Olympic Games came into existence in the late 19th century. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French historian, was the brain behind the resurrection of the game. He re-started Olympics, in 1894 by forming the International Olympic Committee, which is the governing body of the Olympic movement. The first Modern Olympic Games were held in 1896, in Athens, Greece. “Faster, Higher, Stronger”, is the Olympic motto, stressing importance to achieving the celestial point in life rather than gaining first position. The five colored rings on a white base form the Olympic flag. The intertwined rings represent the unity amongst the five continents. Now a days, Olympics takes place every four years.
The Games have grown in scale to the point that nearly every nation on Earth is represented at a celebration of the Games.