History of Olympic Games

History of development of Olympic Games. From hellenes to our days. The beginning and development of Olympic Games. Olympic Games-liquidators of wars and civil strife’s. National sports of Great Britain. The Olympic games in London. Modern Olympic Games.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
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Язык английский
Дата добавления 09.06.2010
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Introduction

The world's greatest international sports games are known as the Olympic Games. The Olympic idea means friendship, fraternity and cooperation among the people of the world. The Olympic Movement proves that real peace can be achieved through sport. The Olympic emblem is five interlinked rings: blue, yellow, black, green and red. Any national flag contains at least one of these colours. The original Olympic Games began in ancient Greece in 776 B.C. These games were part of a festival held every fourth year in honor of God Zeus at the place called Olympia. It was a great athletic festival, including competitions in wrestling, foot racing and chariot racing, rowing and others. The games were for men only. Greek women were forbidden not only to participate but also to watch the Olympics. The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. Then they were resumed in London after the Second World War. Since then the Olympics are held every fourth year in different countries. The ancient Greeks had no winter sports. Only in 1924 the first Winter Olympic Games were held in France, Now they are being held regularly.

1. History of development of Olympic Games

The Olympics have a very long history. They began in 776 B. C. and took place every four years for nearly 1200 years at Olympia, in Greece. The decree of that time was that there should be no wars during the Olympiad. At first the Olympics lasted only five days and the competition was only in running. The Olympic programme grew as the games developed and a lot of sports events were added: long-distance, racing, wrestling, the pentathlon, horse-back racing, etc. The only prize for each contest was a garland of wild olive. The successful athlete, however, received other rewards. His friends and admirers showered him with flowers and costly gifts. His name was recorded in the Greek calendar. Poets sang his praises and sculptors carved his statue. An Olympian prize was regarded as the crown of human happiness. When the successful athletes returned home the wall to their city was broken in order to let them enter. So, they did not enter through the gate. The motto was "With such defenders we need no wall". The ancient Greek Olympic Games were for men only. Women, foreigners and slaves were forbidden to compete. When the Greeks lost their authority and became dependent on Rome the games almost stopped existing. They lasted till 394 A.D., when the Roman Emperor Theodosius I abolished them on the grounds that they were of pagan origin. Theodosius dismantled the Temple of Zeus and destroyed Olympia. Fifteen hundred years later, in 1894, a Frenchman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, persuaded people from fifteen countries to start the Olympic Games again. His words "It's a great honor to win, but still a greater honor to compete" became an Olympic motto. Only a dozen countries took-part then (285 competitors), but it was a start and a good one. It was not until the Fourth Olympics in London, in 1908 that women were allowed to compete for the first time. The Winter Olympics have been held since 1924. At first Scandinavians dominated in all kinds of Winter Sports, that's why the Flag of Norway was considered to be the flag of the Winter Games. At present the Olympic flag has a white background with five rings in the middle, in turquoise, yellow, black, green and red. No Olympic Games can start without the Olympic Flame, the symbol of the spirit of friendly competition, which comes from the classic temple on Olympia, Greece. The first of the modern series of games took place in Athens, in 1896. At the fourth Olympics, in 1908, in London, there were more than two thousand competitors, from twenty-one different countries. Since then, the number of athletes competing has increased each time. The International Olympic Committee at Lausanne, in Switzerland, decides where each Olympics will take place. They ask a city (not a country) to be host one city for the Winter Olympics and one for the Summer Olympic Games. Nearly 150 countries are represented in the International

2. The beginning and development of Olympic Games

2.1 Olympic Games-liquidators of wars and civil strife's

Long ago ancient Greeks often waged wars. Small states suffered and lost much even if they did not take any side and stayed out of wars. The ruler of such a small state, Elis, wanted to live in peace with all neighbours. He was a good di plomat because his negotiations were successful and Elis was recognized a neutral state. To celebrate this achievement, he organized athletic games. In the beginning this feast lasted one day, but later a whole month was devoted to it. All wars and feuds were stopped by special heralds who rode in all directions of Greece. The games were held every four years in Olympia on the territory of Elis. The first games which later were called the Olympic Games were held about a thousand years before our era. Usually the Olympic Games began before the middle of the summer. Best athletes arrived from many Greek states to Olympia to compete in running, long jumps, throwing of discus and javelin and wrestling. In the course of time fist fighting (boxing) and chariot races were also included in the Games. All athletes took an oath that they had been preparing, well for the Games and promised to compete honestly and keep the rules of the sacred Olympics. Tbe athletes took part in all.kinds of competitions. Winners were called "olympionics".

2.2 Olympic Games in art

Winners were awarded olive wreaths and cups of olive oil. This tradition has survived. In our time sportsmen often get cups and wreaths for winning the first place in sports competitions. The olympionics of ancient Greece became very popular. Best craftsmen were chosen to make honourary cups, many poets wrote and recited in public poems about the best athletes. Sculptors made their statues which were put up at the birthplace of the winners. The Olympic Games were accompanied by arts festivals. Poets recited their poems, singers sang hymns, dancers danced and orators pronounced speeches -- all this in honour of the sacred Games. Only men could take part in the Olympic Games. Women were not allowed even to watch the competitions at the stadium under the fear of death penalty. There was a single exception, when a woman coached her son and accompanied him to the stadium in men's clothes. That brave woman was spared the penalty because her son excelled in many events. Magnificent strong bodies inspired artists and sculptors. They painted wall pictures and made statues of marble and bronze, so now we can admire the corporal beauty of ancient and eternally young discus thrower, javelin bearer and others. The Olympic Games had been held for about eleven hundred years, until the emperor Theodosius banned them for religious reasons in 394 A. D.

2.3 The revival of the Olympic Games

The revival of the Olympic Games began long time afterwards, in 1892, when a young French teacher Pierre de Coubertiii made a public speech before the Union of French sports clubs in Paris. At that time many people in many countries practised various kinds of sports and games. They wanted to make friends and compete with sportsmen from other lands. Pierre de Coubertin understood the importance of sports which unified peoples of the world and served the cause of peace like in ancient time.

On the 23rd of June 1894 the International Congress of amateur sportsmen made an important decision: to revive the Olympic Games and to establish the International Olympic Committee which would be responsible for the administration of the modern Olympic Games. The first Committee consisted of 12 members. Now 82 members of the International Olympic Committee control the affairs of all member countries which joined the Olympic movement.

2.4 Modern Olympic Games

The modern Olympic era began in 1894 when Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin decided to revive the ancient Greek tradition of celebrating health, youth and peace with a sports festival. Baron de Coubertin created the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the first modem Olympiad took place in Athens in 1896. Since then the Olympic Games have been held every four years with only two exceptions because of the two world wars.

Even though the modern Olympic Games embrace the whole world, the connection with Greece is still very strong. A lighted torch is brought all the way from Greece, carried by a relay of runners, in order to light the Olympic Flame which bums all through the Games. As in ancient Greek times, the competitors still take the Olympic Oath. The long-distance race is still called the Marathon. Marathon was a village about 26 miles from Athens. In the year 490 BC the Greeks defeated a powerful Persian army at that spot. After the fierce day's fighting a soldier volunteered to bring news of the victory to the anxious citizens of Athens. He ran all the way and after gasping out the message. "Rejoice, we conquer!" he collapsed and died.

One important rule of the Olympic Games is that the competitors must be amateurs. This rule has been under a lot of pressure in recent years because modem sport is so professional and competitive.

Athletes train for years to take part in the Olympics and some countries spend much more than others on equipment and facilities. But despite these pressures, the amateur rule remains.

In modern times the Olympic movement has become an enormous and expensive organisation. It's controlled by the International Olympic Committee, which consists of members from all the participating countries. The IOC is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It chooses the locations of both summer and winter games (both take place once very four years, with winter games half a year before summer Olympiads). It also controls the rules of the competitions and selects new Olympic sports. The famous flag of the IOC shows five rings of different colors linked together. The rings represent the five continents.

3. The Olympic Games

The Olympic Games are one of the most spectacular reminders of the debt we owe to the Greeks.

The original Olympic Games were held every four years in honour of Zeus, the supreme god of Greek religion. The first record of the games dates from 776 B.C., but it is certain that they existed prior to that. They were held continuously for over 1.000 years until they were abolished in the reign of King Theodosius about 392 A.D. The Olympic festival was a great unifying bond between the Independent city-states of Greece.

The important sports in the original Olympic Games were running, jumping, wrestling, throwing the discus and throwing the javelin. Only men competed and they wore no clothes in order to have greater freedom of movement. Each competitor had to take the Olympic Oath - a promise to behave in a sportsman-like fashion.

The modern Olympic era began in 1894 when Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin decided to revive the ancient Greek tradition of celebrating health, youth and peace with a sports festival. Baron de Coubertin created the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the first modem Olympiad took place in Athens in 1896. Since then the Olympic Games have been held every four years with only two exceptions because of the two world wars.

Even though the modern Olympic Games embrace the whole world, the connection with Greece is still very strong. A lighted torch is brought all the way from Greece, carried by a relay of runners, in order to light the Olympic Flame which bums all through the Games. As in ancient Greek times, the competitors still take the Olympic Oath. The long-distance race is still called the Marathon. Marathon was a village about 26 miles from Athens. In the year 490 BC the Greeks defeated a powerful Persian army at that spot. After the fierce day's fighting a soldier volunteered to bring news of the victory to the anxious citizens of Athens. He ran all the way and after gasping out the message. "Rejoice, we conquer!" he collapsed and died.

One important rule of the Olympic Games is that the competitors must be amateurs. This rule has been under a lot of pressure in recent years because modem sport is so professional and competitive.

Athletes train for years to take part in the Olympics and some countries spend much more than others on equipment and facilities. But despite these pressures, the amateur rule remains.

In modern times the Olympic movement has become an enormous and expensive organization, It's controlled by the International Olympic Committee, which consists of members from all the participating countries. The IOC is based in Lausanne, Switzerland. It chooses the locations of both summer and winter games (both take place once very four years, with winter games half a year before summer Olympiads). It also controls the rules of the competitions and selects new Olympic sports. The famous flag of the IOC shows five rings of different colours linked together. The rings represent the five continents.

3.1 National sports of Great Britain

Many kinds of sport originated from England. The English have a proverb, «All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy». They do not think that play is more important than work; they think that Jack will do his work better if he plays as well. so he is encouraged to do both. Association football, or soccer is one of the most popular games in the British Isles played from late August until the beginning of May. In summer the English national sport is cricket. When the English say: "that's not cricket" it means "that's not fair", "to play the game" means "to be fair".

Golf is Scotland's chief contribution to British sport. It is worth noting here an interesting feature of sporting life in Britain, namely, its frequently close connections with social class of the players or spectators except where a game may be said to be a "national" sport. This is the case with cricket in England which is played and watched by all classes. This is true of golf, which is everywhere in the British Isles a middle-class activity. Rugby Union. the amateur variety of Rugby football, is the Welsh national sport played by all sections of society whereas, elsewhere, it too is a game for the middle classes.

Association football is a working-class sport as are boxing, wrestling, snooker, darts, and dog-racing. As far as fishing is concerned it is a sport where what is caught determines the class of a fisherman.

Walking and swimming are the two most popular sporting activities, being almost equally undertaken by men and women. Snooker (billiards), pool and darts are the next most popular sports among men. Aerobics (keep-fit exercises) and yoga. squash and cycling are among the sports where participation has been increasing in recent years.

There are several places in Britain associated with a particular kind of sport. One of them is Wimbledon where the All-England Lawn Tennis Championship are held in July (since 1877). The other one is Wembly - a stadium in north London where international football matches, the Cup Finals and other events have taken place since 1923.

3.2 The Olympic games in London

London was host for the first time in 1908. With 1,500 competitors from 19 nations, the Games were by now an institution of world-wide significance. The programme, moreover, was augmented by the inclusion of Association football (which appeared in 1900 but only in a demonstration match), diving, field hockey, and ice hockey, as well as other sports since discontinued.

The most dramatic episode of these Games was in the marathon, run from Windsor to Shepherd's Bush in London, the site of a new stadium. Pietri (Italy) led into the arena but collapsed and was disqualified for accepting assistance from officials. The gold medal went to the second man home, Hayes (USA), but Queen Alexandra, who was present opposite the finishing line, was so moved by the Italian's plight that she awarded him special gold cup. The 400 meters provided an opportunity for Halswelle (GB) to become the only man in Olympic history to win by a walk-over. The final was declared void after an American had been disqualified for boring.

Two other Americans withdrew from re-run final in protest, leaving Halswelle an unopposed passage. Britain won the polo, and all the boxing, lawn tennis, rackets, rowing, and yachting titles as well as five out of six cycle races.

3.3 Table tennis

Table tennis was first Invented in England in about 1880. At first the game had several strange names: Gossima. Whiff Whaff and Ping Pong. It wasn't until 1926 that the International Table Tennis Association was formed with international championships and rules.

Although the game was invented in England British players don't have much chance in international championships. It's the Chinese with their fantastic speed and power who win almost every title. Table tennis looks more like gymnastics when the Chinese start playing, with the ball flying over the net at speeds of over 150 kilometers per hour.

3.4 Racing

There are all kinds of racing in England - horse-racing, motor-car racing, boat-racing, dog-racing, and even races for donkeys. On sports days at school boys and girls run races, and even train for them. There is usually a mile race for older boys, and one who wins it is certainly a good runner.

Usually those who run a race go as fast as possible, but there are some races in which everybody has to go very carefully in order to avoid falling.

The most famous boat-race in England is between Oxford and Cambridge. It is rowed over a course on the River Thames, and thousands of people go to watch it. The eight rowers in each boat have great struggle, and at the end there is usually only a short distance between the winners and the losers.

The University boat-race started in 1820 and has been rowed on the Thames almost every spring since 1836.

3.5 Squash

Squash began at Harrow School in the mid-nineteenth century, but has since worked its way Into almost every city and district in Britain and throughout Europe.

Squash is one of the fastest games in the world. Two people play in a small confined space surrounded by high walls with no net to keep them apart. The aim is to get to the point at the centre of the court and to stay there.

Squash players hope that the game will make them stronger and fitter, but. like many sports, squash can be very dangerous. The most obvious danger is the small ball that shoots through the air extremely fast.

3.6 Windsurfing

Windsurfing was invented in the mid-sixties by two southern Californian surfers, Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake. Surfers need strong rolling waves, and hate days of calm sea. Schweitzer noticed that on days when waves were not high enough to surf, there was often a strong wind and he set about finding a way to use it.

His first experiments Involved standing on his surfboard holding out a piece of sail cloth in his hands. Gradually he and Drake refined this idea into a basic design for a sailboard, similar to a surfboard, but holding a mast and a triangular sail which could be tilted and turned in any direction. The windsurfer operates a boom which controls the amount of wind in the sail, for speed and change of direction. Schweitzer immediately went into business designing and making the new sailboards and taking the idea abroad. By mid-seventies, the sport had spread to Holland, Germany and France.

Conclusior

The Olympic Games are one of the most spectacular reminders of the debt we owe to the Greeks.

The Olympic idea means friendship, fraternity and cooperation among the people of the world. All wars and feuds were stopped by special heralds who rode in all directions of Greece. The Olympic Movement proves that real peace can be achieved through sport.

Thanks to Olympic games, wars became much less, after all people could compete and resolve disputes in sports meets. And after they have got completely sports interest.

In modern times the Olympic movement has become an enormous and expensive organisation, as well professional and competitive. Athletes train for years to take part in the Olympics and some countries spend much more than others on equipment and facilities. As well games it's controlled by the International Olympic Committee, which consists of members from all the participating countries.

Literature

1. Базунов Б. Эстафета олимпийского огня. М., 1990;

2. Барвинский В., Вилинский С. Рождено Олимпиадой. М., 1985;

3. Кун Л. Всеобщая история физической культуры и спорта. М., 1987;

7. Олимпийская энциклопедия. М., 1980.

5. Хавин Б. Все об Олимпийских играх. М., 1979;

6. Шанин Ю. От эллинов до наших дней. М., 1975;

7. Штейнбах В. От Афин до Москвы. М., 1979;


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