The London Olympics 2012 are to begin in a few hours from now with the grand opening ceremony. Officially it is called the Games of the XXX Olympiad. Over 10,000 athletes from over 204 nations will be the focus of attention of the whole world from July 27 to August 12, 2012. They will be participating in 302 events in 26 games. London also becomes the first city to hold the Olympics for the third time having held it in 1908 and 1948 earlier.
The Olympic games are representing the carrying forward of the ancient Olympic Games that were held inGreece from 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.The most widely accepted date for the first Olympic Games in ancient Greece is believed to be 776 BC. The games were held at Olympia from where the Olympics name has derived. These games featured running, wrestling, boxing, penthalon and equesterian events. Tradition has it that the cook named Coroebus was the first Olympic champion of the ancient games.
The modern Olympic movement was started by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, when he founded the International Olympic Movement (IOC) in 1894. The IOC is now the governing body of the Olympic Movement.
The first modern Olympics was held by IOC in 1896 in Athens, Greece. A total of 241 athletes from 214 nations competed in 43 events. The next Olympics were held in 1900 in Paris where women athletes participated for thye first time. Held every four years, there were no Olympics held in 1916,1940 and 1944
Till 1972 the IOC resisted taking funding from corporate sponsors. However, thereafter the IOC has successfully marketed the Olympics and earned huge revenues from selling the rights to use the interlocked rings logo, the most widely recognised symbol all over the world. The television rights are another huge source of revenue for the IOC.
The Olympic symbol better known as the Olympic rings consists of five interwined rings representing the five inhabited continents of Asia, America, Africa, Australasia and Europe. The color of the rings-blue, green, yellow, black and red - over a white background forms the Olympic flag. Every national flag consists of at least one of these five colors.
The Olympic flame was introduced in 1928 and the torch relay was started in 1936 Berlin Games. The torch forms an important role in the openng ceremony of the Olympic Games. The Olympic mascot was introduced in 1968 and represents the animal or human figure of the country hosting the Games. The most famous mascot was thebear, Misha, of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
The Olympic motto is Citius,Altius,Fortius meaning "Faster, Higher, Stronger" and every athlete tries to live upto it. It is truly said that participating in the Olympics is more important than winning a medal.
The next Olympics will be held in 2016 in Rio de Janerio, Brazil.