In 1453 before Christ the first games were held in Olympia. Beginning with approximately 776 before Christ the games were organised every fourth year. These sports consisted of running, wrestling and other exercises. The favourite games of that time were horse-racing and jumping. The ancient winners got wreaths of palm leaves.
The modern Olympic Games began again in 1896. They take place every four years. They cannot take place in a country which is at war, and during the two world wars there were no Olympic Games. So except in 1916, 1940 and 1944, the Olympic Games have been held every leap year. Women's events started in 1912. Winter Olympic Games first took place in 1924.
The Games have been held in many countries. The 22nd Olympic Games were held in Moscow in 1980. The international Olympic Committee, which was set up and began to work in 1896, chooses the country and the city for the Olympic Games to be held in. The 26th Olympic Games were held in 1996 in Atlanta in the USA. It was a great sport event. There were competitions on practically all summer sports. Russian sportsmen took an active part in these Games. They won a lot of medals and we are very proud of them. The Games were organised in a proper way. It was a wonderful festival of sport, health, peace and friendship.