Ancient Games Change Into Modern Olympics

International Competition Draws Athletes and Fans From Around the World

by Irie Jackson, age 9

The Olympics have changed in many ways over its 200 year history. Today, it is no longer a religious event. For example, women can now compete. In ancient times, women used to be killed just for watching.

The aim of the Olympic games is to promote peace, equality, and friendship and to encourage athletes all around the world to do their best. On the scoreboard at every Olympic game is the message: “The most important thing in the Olympic games are not to win but to take part.”

The first Olympic games took place in Greece. These games only had one event, a two hundred-meter race. Gradually, the Greeks added more events, such as chariot racing in 680 B.C. The ancient games were finally banned because the Romans took over Greece. Theodosius, Emperor of Rome, eliminated all pagan festivals and the Olympics.

Today's Olympic games have evolved into a world-wide attraction for athletes and spectators across the globe. A parade of nations, led by Greece, takes place at every opening ceremony. All the participating nations take part in this ceremony.

The modern Olympic games consist of two parts, summer and winter. Winter sports include ice hockey, skiing, skating, and bobsled. The summer games include boxing, volleyball, track and field, and water sports.

[source: The Kingfisher Childeren's Encyclopedia]