Historia dos jogos olimpicos

Historia dos jogos olimpicos

(Parte 1 de 4)

© The Olympic Museum, 2 edition 2007

Introduction The world’s most important sports event for over a hundred years – Idea of Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin – Olympic Games celebrated in a different country every four years – Games of the Olympiad (Summer Games) – Olympic Winter Games.

Evolution of the Games Athens 1896: past heritage – Innovations: more sports, more athletes, participation of women, Winter Games – Establishment of traditions in the opening and closing ceremonies – Sport, art and culture.

Olympic sports Criteria for inclusion in the programme of the Games – Sports, disciplines and events – The programme of the Summer and Winter Olympic Games – Leading sports and demonstration sports.

Athletes at the Games Athletes’ lead-up to the Games – Life in the Olympic Village – Reasons for taking part, unique experience.

Rewards Medals at the Summer and Winter Games – Diplomas and medals presented – After the Games: winners’ glory.

The Games in Modern Society Improved transport: a benefit for the Games – Broadcasting of the Games by the media – Political and diplomatic use of the Games – Geography of the Games.

The Modern Olympic Games

© The Olympic Museum, 2 edition 2007


A SpORTS phEnOMEnOn unlIkE Any OThER The Olympic Games have become one of the biggest sporting events of our time. Athletes from the entire world take part. Their achievements are watched from both near and far by hundreds of millions of spectators. The five rings on the Olympic flag represent the international nature of the Games. [see sheets “The Olympic Symbols”].

What makes the Olympic Games different from other sports events ?

The Games are held every four years. They are the largest sporting celebration in terms of the number of sports on the programme, the number of athletes present and the number of people from different nations gathered together at the same time in the same place.

The Games are a well-known event, but are also part of a broader framework which is that of the Olympic Movement. The purpose of the Olympic Movement is to: – link sport with culture and education;

– help to build a better world through sport practised in a spirit of peace, excellence, friendship and respect.

ThE SuMMER GAMES And ThE WInTER GAMES The Olympic Games include the Games of the Olympiad (i.e. the Summer Games) and the Olympic Winter Games. The word Olympiad designates the four-year period that separates each edition of the Summer Games. The Summer and Winter Games originally took place in the same year, but since 1992 the Winter Games have been held two years from the Summer Games. The Summer Games and the Winter Games continue to be organised once every four years. In the Summer Games, athletes compete in a wide variety of competitions on the track, on the road, on grass, in the water, on the water, in the open air and indoors, in a total of 28 sports. The Winter Games feature seven sports practised on snow and ice, both indoors and outdoors.

hISTORy It was pierre de Coubertin of France who dreamt up this ambitious project, although others before him had tried to revive these Games during the 19th century, without having Coubertin’s success. Drawing inspiration from the ancient Olympic Games, he decided to create the modern Olympic Games. With this purpose, he founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894 in Paris. The new committee set itself the objective of organising the first Olympic Games of modern times.

The date of the first Games, 1896, marked the beginning of an extraordinary adventure that has now lasted for over a century!

The Modern Olympic Games

COubERTIn And hIS vIEW Of WOMEn Like most of the men of his time, Pierre de Coubertin was not in favour of the participation of women in the Olympic Games. “… the true Olympic hero, in my view, is the individual adult male.” Le Sport Suisse, 31st year, 7 August 1935, p. 1.

© The Olympic Museum, 2 edition 2007

Evolution of the Olympic Games

Pierre de Coubertin drew his inspiration from the ancient Olympic Games which were held in Olympia (Greece) between the 8th century B. C. and the 4th century A.D. [ see sheet “The Olympic Games in Ancient Greece ].

ThE lEGACy Of ThE pAST In 1896, more than 1,500 years after the ancient Games were banned, the first modern Olympic Games featured many references to this legacy of Greek Antiquity. The IOC’s decision to hold them in Athens (Greece) was a reminder that the Olympic Games originated in Greece.

The majority of the competitions took place in the ancient stadium (the panathenaic Stadium), which was restored for the occasion. Most of the sports on the programme of the ancient Olympic Games were echoed in the modern Games.The organisers even went as far as inventing a new race, inspired by a legendary event: the marathon race.

InnOvATIOnS Although the modern Olympic Games were inspired by the past, they are also quite different:

GAMES AROund ThE GlObE In contrast with the Olympic Games of Antiquity, each edition of the modern Games takes place in principle in a different city and country.

lOnGER GAMES In ancient times, the Games were held first on one day, and finally over five days. Today the official duration is no more than 16 days.

AThlETES fROM All OvER ThE WORld The ancient Olympic Games were the preserve of Greek citizens, whereas the modern Games are open to all. The 245 participants in Athens in 1896 came from 14 different countries. The 1912 Games in Stockholm (Sweden) were the first to boast the presence of national delegations from the five continents. The universality of the Olympic Games was a ssured.

WOMEn jOIn In As at the ancient Games, the Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 were an exclusively male preserve. When women made their Olympic debut four years later at the 1900 Games in Paris (France), only two sports were open to them: tennis and golf. In early 20th century society, female athletes had to deal with a great deal of prejudice : there were fears that they would lose their femininity by growing overly muscular or becoming sterile. The first female athletes had to face up to this type of preconception. Little by little, they earned a place at the Games, sport by sport, and event by event.

The Modern Olympic Games

ThE MARAThOn This race commemorates the exploit of a soldier who, in 490 BC, ran from Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in battle (distance: approx. 34.5km). The marathon race has been on the Olympic programme since the Athens Games in 1896. The Organising Committee of the 1908 Games in London fixed the length of the marathon at 42km 195m, the last 195 metres being added to enable the course to go from Windsor Castle to the Royal Box in the London Stadium. This became the official distance as of the Games in 1924.

ThE pAnAThInAIkO STAdIuM in Athens hosted the ancient sports competitions known as the Panathenaea.

© The Olympic Museum, 2 edition 2007

Some important occasions for women at the Summer Games were: – the first appearance of women swimmers at the 1912 Games in Stockholm

– the first female athletics competitions, at the Amsterdam Games in 1928. Note that the 800m race was considered too difficult for women and was discontinued after 1928, not to be reintroduced until 1960.

From volleyball (1964), to rowing (1976), from cycling (1984) to football (1996), female Olympians have gone from strength to strength!

Women’s wrestling joined the Olympic programme in Athens in 2004. At the turn of the third millennium, over 40 per cent of the athletes at the Games were women. This was the largest proportion of female participants in the history of the Olympic Games.

The only sports now not open to women on the programme of the Summer Games are boxing and baseball. There is one sport, softball, and two disciplines, synchronised swimming and rhythmic gymnastics, in which only women participate.

WInTER GAMES When Coubertin revived the Olympic Games, only summer sports were included. In the 1920’s, however, snow and ice sports began to enjoy soaring popularity. A number of IOC members decided to react to this new phenomenon. In 1924, it was decided to hold an International Winter Sports Week in Chamonix (France): 258 athletes from 16 countries (mainly in Europe and North America) attended.

The week was a great success and, two years later, it was retroactively named the first Olympic Winter Games. The future of an Olympic event dedicated exclusively to snow and ice sports was assured.

At the Winter Games in Turin (Italy) in 2006, a total of 2 508 participants came together from 80 countries as diverse as Madagascar, Brazil, New Zealand and Thailand!

The Modern Olympic Games

© The Olympic Museum, 2 edition 2007 bETWEEn fESTIvAl And RITuAl A party atmosphere is a feature of the Olympic Games. Each edition has an Opening Ceremony during which the sports stadium is filled with music, singing, dancing and fireworks. A Closing Ceremony in the same spirit takes place on the last day of the Games. The opening and closing ceremonies are an invitation to discover the culture of the country hosting the Games. Although most of the ceremony is creative and imaginative, there are some very strict rituals that have to be followed. Most of this protocol had been established by the time the 1920 Games in Antwerp (Belgium). It has been added to over the years as the Games have evolved.

These rituals are part of what makes the Olympic Games special!

SpORT, ART And CulTuRE In Ancient Greece, art and sport were seen as perfect partners. The ideal was to achieve harmony by exercising both the body and the mind.

Pierre de Coubertin adopted this ideal for the modern Olympic Games and proposed including art and culture in the programme of the Games.

On his initiative, architecture, sculpture, painting, literature and music competitions were part of the Olympic Games from 1912 to 1948.

Today, the competitions have been replaced with cultural programmes that are completely separate from the sports competitions. Plays, concerts, ballets and exhibitions are held in the athletes’ village, the city, region and even the country hosting the Games.

Whether as a participant or a spectator, the Games offer an opportunity to open up to and better understand other people by discovering a new culture. Through sport, art or culture, everyone can be part of the great festival of the Olympic Games!

(Parte 1 de 4)