The Modern Olympic Games

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The Olympics are the world’s most renowned international sporting competition. Today, there are two different games (summer and winter) with more than 50 sports, 80 countries, and 10,000 athletes total. However, these games did not start out this way. The ancient Olympics started in around 776 BCE in Olympia, Greece. They were devoted to Ancient Olympian gods, and served as a religious festival to honor Zeus. These games occurred every four years, and it brought people from all around Greece together. The sports that were played were running, long jump, shot put, javelin, boxing, pankration (form of martial arts), and equestrian. The only people that were allowed to participate in these games were free males with a Greek citizenship. Also,…show more content…
The first modern Olympics were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. They were created as a forum for athletes to display their talents, as well as to unite people from all around the world. The first competition began with only 311 competitors, 13 competing countries, and 10 sports. Of the 311 competitors, none were women. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the father of the modern Olympic Games and founder of the International Olympic Committee, believed that the Olympics were meant strictly for men, and that women’s inclusion would be “impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic, and incorrect” (Topend Sports website). It wasn’t until 1900 that women were allowed to participate in the games. The first time women began to compete in the Olympics was at the 1900 Games in Paris, France. There were only 22 women athletes, and they were only allowed to participate in three sports: golf, tennis, and yachting. Over time, women’s participation in the Olympics increased. More sports were introduced for women to participate in, such as swimming, track and field, boxing, and equestrian. By the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, 44% of all competitors in the Games were women, who were allowed to participate in all sports. The process of involving women in the Olympics has taken many years, and is still continuing today. There have been many changes made in women’s participation in the Olympics since they were first created. Women’s participation in the Olympics has changed over time from no participation during the creation of the Olympics, to some participation when changes were made in 1900, and finally to participation from all countries in current day. Of these, the changes made for the 1900 Olympic Games were the most important because they revolutionized how the Olympic Games are run today by introducing new sports and creating more diverse
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