The Olympic Games are competitions between individual athletes or teams. They
bring together athletes designated by their respective National Olympic
Committees. They compete under the Technical direction of the International
The final authority on any questions concerning the Olympic Games lies with the
International Olympic Committee.
The Olympic games consist of the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic
Winter Games. Both take place every four years.
The term "Olympiad" designates the period of four successive years that begins
with the Games of the Olympiad and ends with the opening of the games of the
Olympism is a philosophy of life, combining in a balanced whole the qualities of
body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks
to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of
good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
This ideal was proclaimed with enthusiasm at the festivals celebrated every four
years by the ancient Greeks at the Olympic Games in which they devoted
themselves to the pursuit of harmonious development not only of the body and
the moral sense, but also of man's cultural and artistic qualities.
THE FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION
The responsibilities of the International Federations are to regularize and
standardize the rules of their respective sports, and also to cover the
Legislation, Organization and Development of the said sports. They are also
responsible for the technical running of their respective sports at the Olympic
Games, e.g., constituting the Juries of Appeal, selecting Umpires, Referees,
Timers and ensuring the legality of the various events.
HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF THE OLYMPIC MOVEMENT
The ancient Olympic Games were held in Olympia, Greece, every four year from
at least 776 BC, until they were banned by Emperor Theodosius in 389 AD.
Originally, there was only one race, a Sprint event, and the prize for the winner
was an Olive Wreath. As time went on, other races were added, as were other
sports including boxing and wrestling. Prizes became more elaborate, and there
were even cases of bribery and corruption. A unique feature of the Games was
that at the time of the staging, countries which were at war laid down their
weapons, competed, and returned to the war after the event.
The Modern Olympics as we know it was the brain-child of the person now known
as the "Father of the Modern Olympics", a Frenchman by the name of Baron
Pierre de Courbertin. The Baron first proposed the idea of restaging the
glorious athletes and cultural festivals of ancient Greece. In 1894 an Olympic
Congress met in Paris and decided to stage its first Modern Olympics in Athens
in 1896, the capital and the homeland of the ancient Games.
A significant point to note is that the Games are celebrated in the first year of
the Olympiad (the expression "Olympiad" means a period of four successive
years which follow the Games).
The Games were not held in the years 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to the First and
Second World Wars. The number of countries taking part in the Games varied
from twelve in St. Louis in 1904 to one hundred and sixty-seven in Barcelona in
Match words or phrases with the same or similar meaning:
1. prize contest
2. effort blend
3. to hold (games) use of strength and energy, pursuit
4. competition to be composed of
5. brain-child award
6. to consist of choose sb for a special purpose
7. combine in charge of, answerable for
8. designate person’s original idea or invention
9. responsible for to organize, arrange to take place
1, Summarise the history of the Olympic Games:
When did the first games take place?
Who was the initiator of the modern Olympic movement?
What were other significant events in the Olympic history?
2, What is the supreme authority of the Games?
3, What are the International Federations responsible for?
"The Olympic Games must not be an end in it self, they must be a means of
creating a vast programme of physical education and sports competitions for
all young people". Avery Brundage, IOC President, 1952 - 1972.
Do you think that this ambition is achieved? Do the Olympic Games offer an
educational programme for young people? What about the idea of Olympism
these days – has it changed?