Olympic Games

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The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (French: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 130 nations participating. The Olympic Games are normally held every four years, alternating between the Summer and Winter Olympics every two years in the four-year period.

Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games (Ancient Greek: Ὀλυμπιακοί Ἀγῶνες), held in Olympia, Greece from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, leading to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority.

The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in several changes to the Olympic Games. Some of these adjustments include the creation of the Winter Olympic Games for snow and ice sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with disabilities, the Youth Olympic Games for athletes aged 14 to 18, the five Continental games (Pan American, African, Asian, European, and Pacific), and the World Games for sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games. The IOC also endorses the Deaflympics and the Special Olympics. The IOC has needed to adapt to a variety of economic, political, and technological advancements. The growing importance of mass media has created the issue of corporate sponsorship and general commercialisation of the Games. Great wars led to the cancellation of the 1944 and 1964 Olympics; boycotts during the Cold War limited participation in several Olympics; and the 2020 Summer Olympics were postponed until 2021 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Olympic Movement consists of international sports federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), and organising committees for each specific Olympic Games. As the decision-making body, the IOC is responsible for choosing the host city for each Games, and organises and funds the Games according to the Olympic Charter. The IOC also determines the Olympic programme, consisting of the sports to be contested at the Games. There are several Olympic rituals and symbols, such as the Olympic flag and torch, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies. The first, second, and third-place finishers in each event receive Olympic medals: gold, silver, and bronze, respectively.

The Games have grown so much that nearly every nation is now represented. This growth has created numerous challenges and controversies, including boycotts, doping, and bribery. Every two years the Olympics and its media exposure provide athletes with the chance to attain national and sometimes international fame. The Games also constitute an opportunity for the host city and country to showcase themselves to the world.

Ancient Olympics[edit | edit source]

The Modern Games[edit | edit source]

International Olympic Committee[edit | edit source]

Sports[edit | edit source]

Controversies[edit | edit source]

Nations[edit | edit source]

Host nations[edit | edit source]

All-time medal table[edit | edit source]

List of Modern Olympic Games[edit | edit source]

List of Summer Games[edit | edit source]

Year Date City and host country Nations participating
1896 6 April – 15 April Greece Athens, Greece 14
1900 14 May – 28 October United Kingdom London, United Kingdom 28
1904 27 April – 31 October Sierra Reno, Sierra
1908 5 May – 22 July France Paris, France
1912 28 July – 12 August Switzerland Zurich, Switzerland
1916 29 July – 14 August Germany Berlin, Germany
1920 19 July – 3 August Skandinavia Helsinki, Skandinavia
1924 12 August – 12 September Spain Madrid, Spain
1928 13 August – 29 August Astoria Seattle, Astoria
1932 28 July – 12 August Japan Tokyo, Japan
1936 27 July – 13 August Superior Saint Anthony, Superior
1940 1 August – 16 August Austria Vienna, Austria
1944: Cancelled due to First Great War.
1948 24 July – 9 August Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands
1952 17 July – 1 August Brazoria Houston, Brazoria
1956 20 July – 5 August United Kingdom London, United Kingdom
1960 17 July – 1 August Czech Republic Prague, Czechia
1964: Cancelled due to Second Great War.
1968 29 July – 14 August Manitoba Toscouné, Manitoba
1972 28 July – 12 August Japan Tokyo, Japan
1976 19 July – 3 August Spain Madrid, Spain
1980 25 August – 11 September Skandinavia Copenhagen, Skandinavia
1984 12 October – 27 October Sierra San Francisco, Sierra
1988 17 July – 1 August Russia Moscow, Russia
1992 28 July – 12 August Korea Seoul, Korea
1996 19 July – 3 August United Commonwealth Atlanta, United Commonwealth
2000 1 August – 16 August China Beijing, China
2004 19 July – 4 August Italy Rome, Italy
2008 25 July – 9 August Mexico Mexico City, Mexico
2012 23 July – 8 August Germany Berlin, Germany
2016 23 July – 8 August Brazil Rio de Janiero, Brazil
2020 23 July – 8 August Anatolian Republic Istanbul, Anatolian Republic
2024 23 July – 8 August Sierra Porciúncula, Sierra TBD
2028 23 July – 8 August Trucial States Doha, Trucial States TBD

List of Winter Games[edit | edit source]

Year Date City and host country NOCs participating
1924 25 January – 5 February France Bonneville, France
1928 11 February – 19 February Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland
1932 25 January – 5 February Skandinavia Christiana, Skandinavia
1936 25 January – 5 February Manitoba Yellowknife, Manitoba
1940 25 January – 5 February Germany Bad Reichenhall, Germany
1944: Cancelled due to First Great War.
1948 25 January – 5 February Italy Aosta, Italy
1952 25 January – 5 February Japan Furano, Japan
1956 25 January – 5 February Sierra Salt Lake City, Sierra
1960 25 January – 5 February Austria Innsbruck, Austria
1964: Cancelled due to Second Great War.
1968 25 January – 5 February Astoria Vancouver, Astoria
1972 25 January – 5 February Russia Yekaterinburg, Russia
1976 25 January – 5 February Greenland Godthåb, Greenland
1980 25 January – 5 February France Grenoble, France
1984 25 January – 5 February Harbin, Manchuria
1988 25 January – 5 February Alaska Anchorage, Alaska
1992 25 January – 5 February Skandinavia Christiana, Skandinavia
1994 25 January – 5 February Superior Duluth, Superior
1998 25 January – 5 February Czech Republic Harrachov, Czechia
2002 25 January – 5 February Manitoba Thunder Bay, Manitoba
2006 25 January – 5 February Kazakhstan Almaty, Kazakhstan
2010 25 January – 5 February Bulgaria Sofia, Bulgaria
2014 25 January – 5 February Japan Sapporo, Japan
2018 25 January – 5 February Spain Granada, Spain
2022 25 January – 5 February United Commonwealth Keene, United Commonwealth
2026 25 January – 5 February Korea Jeonju, Korea

See also[edit | edit source]