The Olympic games began over 3000 years ago in Greece and became popular throughout the 19th century. Heracles, son of the Greek God Zeus, is believed to have started the first Olympic game called the stade, which was a 192-meter footrace. By 1896, the Olympics took place in Athens, made up of 12 nations with over 250 participants that compete in various sporting events. Some of the games included the marathon, a long jump, chariot racing, and wrestling matches that became boxing.
In the 2nd century, the games would carry over into Athens, with the Roman Empire expanding its control over Greece. However, the Olympic standards would falter into paganist types of games before Emperor Theodosius I would put an end to its tradition for almost 12 years. After 1,500 years had passed, the modern Olympics would bring athletes from all over the world to compete in new and improved games, holding events every four years.
Around 280 participants would compete in events that we see in today’s Olympics, including swimming races, bicycling, gymnastics, and many other kinds of activities for athletes to win gold medals. Many other games would become part of the Olympic tradition of winter sports, such as ice hockey, snowboarding, and figure skating.
One of the greatest reasons to hold the Olympics is to showcase different sports that each country is known for. It invites people to become more familiar with each sport, giving athletes a chance to stand out in front of their competition and make a name for themselves by performing well enough to reach their goal as career athletes.
Many Olympic champions have gone on to become pro athletes in sports around the world. Many of them come from different backgrounds who played in sports such as basketball, hockey, and tennis went on to have great careers in their field. For example, Venus Williams and her sister, Serena Williams, have excelled on the tennis court for years and become Olympic champions. Unlike the ancient years of gladiator games, the modern Olympics has become a family tradition that gives some of the best athletes in the world a chance to compete against each other for great rewards and recognition.