Физкультура и спорт /
The Olympic Games have a very long history. They began in 777 BC in Greece and
took place every four years for nearly twelve centuries at Olimpia. They included
many different kinds of sports: running, boxing, wrestling, etc. All the cities in Greece
sent their best athletes to Olimpia to compete in the Games. For the period of the Games
all the wars stopped. So the Olympic Games became the symbol of peace and friendship.
In 394 AD the Games were abolished and were not renewed until many centuries
In 1894, a Frenchman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, addressed all the sports governing
bodies and pointed out the significance of sports and its educational value.
Two years later the first modern Olympic Games took place. Of course, the competi-
tions were held in Greece to symbolize the continuation of the centuries-old tradition.
In 1896 the International Olympic Committee was set up. It is the central policy-
making body of the Olympic movement. It is formed by the representatives of all coun-
tries which take part in the Olympic Games. The International Olympic Committee
decides upon the programme of the games, the number of the participants and the city-
host for the Games. Over one hundred and fifty countries are represented in the
International Olympic Committee now. Besides, each country has its National Olympic
Summer and Winter Games are held separately. There are always several cities
wishing to host the Games. The most suitable is selected by the International Committee.
After that the city of the Games starts preparations for the competitions, constructs new
sports facilities, stadiums, hotels, press centres. Thousands of athletes, journalists and
guests come to the Games, and it takes great efforts to arrange everything. There is
always an interesting cultural programme of concerts, exhibitions, festivals, etc., for each
Russia joined the Olympic movement in 1952. Since then it has won a lot of gold, sil-
ver, and bronze medals. In 1980 Moscow hosted the Twenty-Second Olympic Games.
The latest Olympic Games were held in Barcelona. Russian sportsmen got medals for
their records in many sports events.