2016 Summer Olympic Games

The Olympic flame has arrived in Brazil. After being lit in Olympia on the 21st of April, the emblematic torch landed on Brazilian soil, where it was received by President Carlos Arthur Nuzman in charge of organizing the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The lit torch was handled to Fabiana who is captain of the Brazilian volleyball team and who is going to be the first of many athletes to carry the torch in Brazil.

The lit torch will be carried by ordinary, yet successful people, as well as well-respected Brazilians for the remaining days before the Olympic Games start.

Ancient Games and Religion

Based on historical records, the first celebrated Olympic Games originated in 776 BC. They were celebrated in honor to the Olympian gods and were presented on the ancient grounds of Olympia, Greece. The games were held every four years and lasted for almost 12 centuries, after which Emperor Theodosius prohibited them in 393 A.D., classifying them as a pagan cult.

It´s believed that Ancient Olympic Games were athletic, but also religious festivals celebrated every 4 years on the ground of Zeus in Olympia, Greece. The competitions were held among the participants of many cities and kingdoms of Greece. At that time, there were not as many sports competing as in the present days, only some athletic, combat games and those including horses, such as chariot racing competitions.

Originally, the Olympic Games played a religious importance as ritual human sacrifices were performed in honor of Zeus; god of sky and thunder. The losers sometimes were sacrificed and the winners were appreciated and immortalized in written poems and statues as heroes. Most of the competitors were young warriors who demonstrated their physical potential.

The Olympiad which was held every four years became a unit of measurement in Greece.

Modern games

The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens from the 5th to 15th of April of 1896. An international Olympic committee (IOC) decided that Athens, Greece was the ideal place to celebrate the games since they had been held there originally.

The Panathinaiko stadium hosted all of the events and set records in both participation and attendance.Since the first Olympic Games, the festival has grown and gained popularity. From the roughly 240 participants in 1896 representing a few nations, the games now number nearly 11,000 competitors from more than 200 nations as of 2012.

Number of sports

The program for the Olympic Games; summer and winter events, includes 35 sports, which are divided into 30 disciplines and 408 events. The Summer Games features 26 sports while the Winter Games only 15. Some sports have been dropped out of the program, while others, such as basketball and volleyball, which were considered as demonstration sports, were later promoted to complete Olympic sports.

The Winter Olympics were created to host the sports that could not be held in the summer due to the prevalent weather. Some of these sports include figure skating, freestyle skiing, snowboard, biathlon, alpine skating, speed skating, and ice hockey, among many others.

Significance of the Games

There is a meaning in the celebration of the Olympics and this encompasses the countries in five different continents of the world, which are indicated by five rings; blue, yellow, red, green and black, over a white background, representing the unity among nations.Before each Olympic celebration, the Olympic flame is lit in Olympia from inside a parabolic mirror; the lit torch is then given to the first runner, who over time will hand it to another relay runner until the lit torch arrives to the host city´s athletic grounds.The representatives of potential aspirant citiesoften offer their cities as candidates to host the next Olympic Games. Out of the number of candidates, only one is chosen.