The Olympic Games
The Olympic Games are an international sports competition which are held every four years in a different city. Thousands of athletes from all over the world compete against each other in individual and team sports. Over 1 billion people watch the games on TV. The first Olympic Games were held in Greece in 776 B.C. They were called the ancient games and lasted until the 4th century A.D. The modern games began in 1896, when the Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin revived the games to bring peace and friendship to the young people all over the world. Today, there are summer and winter games. Up to 1994 both games were held in the same year, but now they are staged two years apart from each other. Ceremonies and symbols The Olympic Games begin with the opening ceremony . Athletes from all the participating nations march into the stadium. Greece comes in first, because it was the first nation to hold the Olympics and the host nation comes in last. The Olympic flag is raised and a chosen athlete lights the Olympic flame . It is a symbol of spirit , knowledge and life. The fire comes from Olympia , a small town in Greece and many runners transport the flame in a torch relay to the site of the games. It burns from the opening ceremony until the end of the games. The Olympic rings were created in 1913 and represent the five continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas). All athletes must take the Olympic oath . One of them has to promise that all athletes will give their best and compete in a fair way. After each event, medals are given to the first three athletes. They receive gold, silver and bronze medals. Their flags are raised and the national anthem of the winner’s country is played.