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Ancient to Modern Olympics

Ancient Olympics has a history dating as long back as 776 BC. These games originally linked to the religious festivals of the cult of Zeus, were dedicated to the Olympian Gods. 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.

Temple of Zeus

Olympia the ancient city of worship with its magnificent and elaborate shrines had a stadium which could accommodate 40,000 spectators. The games were first held here in 776 BC and continued to be played every four years for nearly 1200 years.

Corebus , a cook from Elis is  known as the very first Olympic champion in history by winning a run of approximately 192 metres. Stadion running, discus and Javelin were some of the early athletic events of that era. The victors received their first award of  a palm branch from a Hellanodikis (Greek judge) soon after the competitions. The official award ceremony were held on the last day at the venue of the temple of Zeus and after announcing the winners, they were awarded with the sacred olive tree wreath (Kotinos) placed on their heads. Red ribbons were tied on the winners head and hands as a mark of victory.

But in 393 CE, the ancient Olympic games came to a halt when the Roman emperor Theodosius I, abolished the Games.

The games stay put until in 1890,  a young Frenchmen named Pierre de Coubertin organized and founded a sports organization, Union des Sociétés Francaises de Sports Athlétiques (USFSA). Two years later, Coubertin first put forward his idea to revive the Olympic Games. Although initially his proposal did not invoke an interest, his persistence won when in 1894, at a meeting of the Union des Sports Athlétiques with 79 delegates representing nine countries, the delegates voted unanimously for the Olympic Games. It was also decided to have Coubertin construct an international committee to organize the Games. This committee became the International Olympic Committee (IOC; Comité Internationale Olympique) and Demetrious Vikelas from Greece was selected to be its first president. Demetrios Vikelas and Evangelos Zappas were among those who made efforts for the revival of Olympic games. Thus the Olympic Games revived after around 1500 years, was held in Panathenaic stadium in Athens in the first week of April 1896 and came to be known as the Modern Olympic games. Since then, this game has been held enthusiastically every four years in different participating countries and acts as a medium for encouraging cordial relationships between the countries.