The Olympics is the biggest sporting tradition in the world with every country sending participants thousands of miles to take part in this historic event every four years. We all know what the modern Olympics is like with it’s dazzling opening ceremonies, participation controversies and screaming audiences, but do we know where it came from?


The first recorded ‘Olympic Games’ took place in Ancient Greece as a religious festival in honour of Zeus, in 776 BC, and held in Olympia. At this time the games only consisted of one event- the 200-yard dash called ‘The Stadium’ but over the years more events were added starting with the more traditional Greek events, such as discus, javelin and wrestling, to all of our modern sports. From this point the games were held every 4 years until 393 BC when they were abolished by Emperor Theodosius I as he considered it a Pagan cult which offended his Christian religion.


It wasn’t until the late 19th Century in France that Baron Pierre de Coubertin undertook a successful campaign to revive the Olympics and make it a secular, international event. The first modern summer games opened on March 24th, 1896 in Athens, Greece. The Olympics fostered the ideal of ‘sound mind and body’ and aimed at promoting friendship between nations. Other than 1916, 1940 and 1944 when the games were cancelled due to World War 1 and World War 2 they have taken place every 4 years. However after 1992 the Winter and Summer Olympics were no longer scheduled for the same year.


This year’s Olympic Games is being hosted in the magical Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro. Despite the controversy and surrounding the games this year’s event is a first in many regards. It is the first Olympic games to be held in South America, previous games have been held in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia leaving just Africa and Antarctica having not held the games. This year we also have a record number of 206 competing teams including the Refugee Olympic Team which aims to highlight the current refugee crisis across the world. We also have 2 sports back in the mix with Golf and Rugby being played for the first time since 1904 and 1924 respectively.


The games has only just begun so we wish all the athletes the best and hope you all enjoy watching the games against the beautiful backdrop of Rio.