It’s 2018, home to the 23rd Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea and everyone seems to be watching them. However there is one thing about the Olympics that you don’t hear about very often… the history.
The Olympics seemed to have started in 776 B.C.E. in the Ancient Greek region of Olympia to pay respect to the many gods of the Ancient Greece. However, it is believed that they were more directed towards Zeus, who was seen as a spiritual father to all of the people and gods of Ancient Greece.
The Olympics of Ancient Greece are believed to have ran from about 776 B.C.E. to 393 C.E. before they were permanently cancelled by the current emperor of Greece, Theodosius who believed that the Olympics should be disbanded because it promoted the worship of “pagan cults”. Paganism is an ancient religion that originated in the fourth century, it was a term used by early Christians as a way to describe those who practiced polytheism.
Although it seemed that the Olympics were a thing of the past, they were surprisingly revived by a man named Baron Pierre de Coubertin. Coubertin, being a historian, took quite the interest in the Ancient Olympic games. It was this interest that led to him founding The International Olympic Committee in 1896. The committee than decided to revive the Olympic games on April 6th, 1896, and were held in Athens, Greece. Only 14 countries participated in the event and 43 sports were played many of which were related to track and field.
28 years later, in 1928 the Winter Olympics were then created. Many sports were included during the first event including bobsleigh, figure skating, and cross country skiing. Many of the sports that were played during this event are still played. It took place in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
So the Olympics have had a pretty interesting history. They went from a traditional religious festival of the Ancient Greeks to a worldwide sports event that is extremely popular, and even now they are still interesting and fun.