The Olympic Games were held every four years for nearly 1200 years until they were abolished in 393 BCE by Roman Emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, because of their pagan influences.
Approximately 1500 years later, a young Frenchmen, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, initiated The Olympic Games revival. Pierre de Coubertin strongly believed that this global sporting event could be a platform for global peace. He believed that bringing all the athletes together once every four years for this event would help promote peace among the different nations of the world. In 1894, Pierre de Coubertin assembled 79 delegates from 12 countries to attend a meeting on the re-establishment of the Olympic Games. At that meeting, they formed the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and chose the official motto of the modern Olympics Games which is still used today…”Faster-Higher-Stronger”. They decided to hold the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896 to honor the origin of the ancient Olympic Games.
Baron de Coubertin became IOC president in 1896 and guided the Olympic Games through its difficult early years, when it lacked much popular support and was overshadowed by world’s fairs. In 1924, the first truly successful Olympic Games were held in Paris, involving more than 3,000 athletes, including more than 100 women, from 44 nations. The first Winter Olympic Games were also held that year. In 1925, Coubertin retired. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the foremost international sports competition. In July 2012, London, United Kingdom, will host the world’s athletes at the Games of the XXX Olympiad of the modern era.
The Olympic modern movement has come to embrace many high minded ideals including the promotion of fair play, work against violence and intolerance and support of diversity and equality. Since the 1992 Earth Summit, the IOC has included the protection of the environment as one of the Olympic ideals.
Below is a roster of the modern Olympic games:
Motivated by the ideal of peace, Pierre de Coubertin conceived the idea of reviving the Greek tradition of the Games of the Olympiad as a means to bring nations together. Source: Olympic Museum Lausanne Website.