The history of Olympic games goes back to Ancient Greece. They began in 776 B.C. (that is more than 2700 years ago) and took place for about 1200 years every four year, at Olympia in Greece. It was a great athletic festival including many different kinds of sports: running, boxing, discus throwing, wrestling and others.
The Olympics were organized up to the year of 391. In 394 A.D. the Games stopped. Then fifteen hundred years later, in 1894, a Frenchman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, managed to persuade people from fifteen countries to start the Olympic Games again. The International Olympic Commitee was set up in 1894, and the first of the modern series of Games took place in Athens two years later, in 1896. More than two thousands competitors from twenty-two different countries took part in them. There were competitions in many kinds of sports: running, jumping, boxing, swimming, football and others. Since then, the number of athlets competing has increased each time.
The Olympic Games cannot take place in countries at war. That is why there were no Olympic Games during the two world wars. The International Olympic Commitee in Switzerland chooses where each Olympic Games will take place. They ask the city chosen to be the host.
Summer and Winter Olympic Games are held separately, in different countries. Winter Olympic Games first took place in 1924. At the Winter Games many teams from different countries take part in competitions in figure-skating, skiing, hockey and other winter sports. Since 1936 the opening ceremony has been celebrated by lightning a flame which is called "Olympic Flame". The 22-nd Summer Olympic Games were held in Russia, Moscow in 1980. It was for the first time that the Olympic Games were held in our country.