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History of the Olympic Games - Term Paper Example

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Name: Instructor name: Subject: The first Olympic Games can be traced to 776 BCE in Greece. They were staged near the ancient plains of Olympia. The games were dedicated to Olympian gods. This had been continuing for 12 centuries until Emperor Theodosius announced the ban of pagan cults in 393 CE…
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History of the Olympic Games
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Download file to see previous pages Zeus, an Olympic god, was said to be the father of humanity. Zeus is said to have fought a god known as Cronus in a struggle for the throne with other gods. The demigod, Heracles, staged games in Olympia in honor of Zeus. The games aimed at encouraging good relations among the cities of Greece and showing the physical qualities accomplished by the youth in Greece. The ultimate importance of the games was religion. During the first recorded Olympic Games, a nude runner, by the name Coroebus, won the sole event at the competition. He was a cook from Elis, a town in Greece. He competed in 210 yards or approximately 192 meters and became the first Olympics champion in the history. The ancient Olympic Game events continued to occur every four years for the next 1200 years. In 393, CE, Theodosius I, the Roman emperor, decided to abolish games, claiming they had pagan influences. Emperor Theodosius was a staunch Christian. About 1600 years later, Pierre Coubertin, a young French aristocrat, began to revive the games. Coubertin was born on January 1st, 1863. Coubertin was only seven when Germans overran the French. The period was known as the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. This young French aristocrat witnessed the defeat of French military and he attributed it to a lack of vigor. According to Coubertin, sports were among the motivating factors needed to have France regain its place. He concluded that Americans, Germans and the British did not have any superior education compared to the French. His proposal was not met with much enthusiasm. His persistence to get France interested in sports continued. He planned and founded a sports organization in 1890. The union named USFSA was launched, and two years later he pitched the idea to have the Olympic Games revived (IOC 10). The games mainly featured athletics. Later, chariot racing and combat were introduced as Olympic events. All conflicts occurring during the games were postponed until the events were completed. To many, the origin of the Olympics games is shrouded in mystery. Another myth suggested that the first games occurred in 775 BCE after some inscriptions were found in the city of Olympia. The ancient Olympic Games featured boxing, javelin, running and equestrian events. The myth concurs that Olympic Games had a fundamental religious importance. Another similarity with the earlier myth is that ritual sacrifices were offered in honor of Zeus which was a famous statue. The idol was a divine hero and an alleged god of Olympia. According to the Greek traditions, a four-year period was known as an Olympiad, which was a unit of time. This is said to be the source of Olympics (“Olympic Movement” 4). The Olympic Games became part of a cycle called Pan-Hellenic games. They included Isthmian, Pythain, and Nemean games. In the 5th and 6th centuries, the Olympics reached what was known as zenith. With the rise of the Roman Empire, the Olympic Games declined in terms of their importance. The Roman Empire gained power and influence over Greece. Emperor Theophilus II ordered the destruction of all Greek templates in 426 CE. This caused the Olympic Games to be officially ended. According to Coubertin, the revival of Olympics was necessary to bring peace and create friendship among nations. He planned and organized a meeting of seventy-nine delegates representing nine countries in just two years. The meeting was held in an auditorium decorated with neoclassical murals. In the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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