The Olympics games: Yesterday and today

If in the last few days you scroll between the tv channels, you have probably seen that the winter Olympics are going on ? But what exactly are the Olympic games and why are they important?

The Olympics games were played for the first time in 776 b.c. in Olimpia, a greek city.  At first they were just a little local running competition dedicated to the Greek god Zeus but during the VI and V century B.C.the competition became more popular and year after year many competitions were added to the single running competition. The games were popular mainly between the athletes that after winning the competition had great glory and fame. The games were played every 4 years and during those days all the conflicts and war in ancient Greece were suspended. 

But of course in ancient Greece the Olympic games were reserved only to the freemen and slaves, women and foreigns were excluded. Furthermore the Olympic games participation needed the availability of places to practice and for this reason they were mostly a sport for rich people. But right after the Christanity spread all over Europe and in the Roman Empire, the Olympic games started to have a decline and lost importance because of the Christian’s want to delete all the pagan’s ( Not Christian) religions and celebrations and stopped in 393 A.D. due to the prohibition from the Roman Emperor Theodosius.

But the Olympic games tradition and memory remained in many people minds and all over Europe there were celebrations that took inspiration and names from the original Greeks. But, especially after the discoveries of the ruins of the city of Olympia, the interest in the Olympic games grew and finally in 1894 Pierre De Coubertin, a french baron that wanted to increase the conditioning of the French army and to find something that unified nations, presented to the University of the Sorbonne in Paris and on the 23rd June 1894,  the congress in the Sorbonne approved his request and decided that the first Olympic games were going to be played in Athens, in Greece, two years later in 1896. But this time the Olympic games weren’t just for greek’s rich people. In fact they were for all the nations and athletes from all over the World, without caring about color, nation, ethnicity and social status. For this reason the Olympic games have always been an occasion to most of the athletes to redeem themselves and their nations or also to promote different ways of thinking.In fact, a  clearly example of this was the American black Jesse Owens that in the Olympics of 1936,that were held  in Berlin and they were mostly a propaganda for the Nazism and Hitler’s regime, won 4 gold medals and took part against racism and discriminations . 

Finally during the years, a lot of new disciplines were added to the Olympic games and every 4 years they are helded in a different nation and as they were before they are always a period of unification and about sportsmanship in which everyone gives his best and is always ready to congratulate with a better opponent.