The ancient Olympics were held in Olympia, Greece. They were a series of competitions between representatives of different city-states and kingdoms in Greece, instead of different countries. While the games were being held, all conflicts between the participating city-states and kingdoms were postponed.
The first Olympic Games under the direction of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were hosted in Athens in 1896. There were 14 different nations with over 200 athletes who competed in over 40 events. The IOC decided that the modern Olympics would rotate among different countries, so the second Games were held in Paris.
Most countries will miss an Olympics due to a lack of qualifications among their athletes. However, some will choose to boycott the Games. Since 1896, three Olympic Games have passed without any celebration: the 1916 Olympics were cancelled due to World War I, the 1940 Olympics were cancelled due to World War II, and the 1944 Olympics were cancelled due to World War II.
The Olympic symbol (the Olympic rings) is made up of 5 interlaced circles which represent the unity of the five inhabited continents: America, Africa, Asia, Australasia, and Europe. The colors of the rings (blue, black, red, yellow, and green) over a white background were chosen as every nation had at least one of the colors on its own flag.
In 2008 the Olympics were held in Beijing, and in 2016 it will be held in Rio de Janeiro. This year the Olympics are being held from July 27th to August 12th in London.
For more information check out these links:
For some Olympic reading, check out the titles below!
Private Games by James Patterson
Gold by Chris Cleave
The Long Journey Home by Don Coldsmith
Remember Summer by Elizabeth Lowell
Chronicle of the Olympics, 1896-2000 by Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff
The Story of the Olympic Games, 776 B.C. to 1968 by John Kieran
Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever by Jack McCallum
Hitler's Olympics: the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games by Christopher Hilton
The Ancient Olympics by Nigel Jonathan Spivey
The Complete Book of the Olympics by David Wallechinsky
Ancient Greece and the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne (Nonfiction)
Hour of the Olympics by Mary Pope Osborne
The Olympics: Scandals by Moira Butterfield (Nonfiction)
The World of Olympics by Nick Hunter (Nonfiction)
The Smurf Olympics by Peyo
Young Adult Books:
Rush for the Gold by John Feinstein
The Book of Olympic Lists by David Wallechinsky (Nonfiction)
In Lane Three, Alex Archer by Tess Duder
The Real Olympics
Chariots of Fire
Picture from http://www.tvrage.com/shows/id-30636