Olympics – The spirit of excellence and performance


Olympic Games is one of the biggest international events in sports history that happens every four years with summer and winter games being held alternatively for every two years. Sports lovers from all over the world eagerly wait to witness this spectacular event and even the athletes feel very proud and think as an honor just to compete in these games. Unlike many other international sports, where prize money becomes the primary aspect, Olympic games are linked to values and idealism. Athletes belonging to different sports and cultural back grounds take part in these games adhering to the principles of peace and fairness without expecting any monetary benefits.

The main idea behind Olympics
The main idea with which ancient Olympics started in Greece was to encourage the talents of young citizens as well as to establish friendly relationships with their neighboring countries and make allies. Greeks strongly believed that physical fitness and mental discipline were equally important to build the personal strength and hence the propagation of these ideals continued in the form of sports. Not to forget, these games began as a religious festivals that were held near the shrine of God in Olympia but later became the symbol for Greeks sense of national unity and pride. Eventually, with time, the Olympic games lost their underlying religious significance but still carry the message that sports and athletic competitions bring humankind together and encourage peace among the nations of the world.


Brief history and origin
Origin of Olympics took place in ancient Greece that revolves around their belief of worship, ancient Greek God named Zeus. No one exactly knows when the games were first played, but evidences show that it started in 776 BC in the place called Olympia, where Zeus defeated his father. The event discontinued in AD 393, when Roman emperor Theodosius passed an order not to proceed with this game. Later, the issue was raised by a French aristocrat Baron Pierre de Coubertin to revive the games in 1892, and subsequently got revoked again in 1896, in Athens, Greece with 280 athletes contesting from 13 nations. Today, it has become biggest event where hundreds of athletes from more than 200 countries unite together regardless of their differences to extent their regard & support for this historical sport.

Athletes compete for honor not for monetary benefits
No prize money was awarded to the winner at the ancient Olympic games except the wreath crown called Kotinos made of Olive branch. In fact, there was only one winner for each game and highest level of prize granted to this person was the honor of placing his sculpture in the holy sanctuary dedicated to Gods at Olympia. In ancient Greece, people believed in two kinds of games – one is sacred called ‘stephanos’ where the prize money is a crown of wreath and the other is played as ‘thematikoi’ where the winners receive monetary gifts. Right from the beginning Olympics was considered as the sacred game where people used to perform not for the monetary benefits but to win the honor of respect. Gradually, things have changed and in modern Olympics the first eight athletes will receive certificates whereas the top three winners get gold, silver and bronze medals.


The ideals of Olympism
Right from the beginning, Olympic games reflected the human morals and encouraged the importance of civility & mutual respect, which is completely opposite to the primitive barbarian culture. These ideals were further supported and strengthened by the French aristocrat Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who founded the Olympic movement. Olympism believed that sports and athletic competition play a great role in developing the individual’s character. That is reason why even today, no matter how tough the competition is, participants follow the fundamental ethical principles to win the game, giving no scope for conflicts and injustice.

It is the only event where people compete with great spirit even though performers are not paid in the form of monetary benefits. It passes a great message to every individual that there are certain things in life that have a higher significance than money. Of course, every winner today is getting rewarded in the form of financial incentives from their respective countries. But it is hard to come up with a value for this achievement which is extremely rare. Olympic spirit is not about winning the competition but inspiring the entire world with the unifying message of fairness, performance and excellence.

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