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The Olympic Dream
Olympic facts 101
The Olympic Dream.
This week thousands of athletes will begin to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Their dream, to win a medal for their country but many are pleased enough to just compete, knowing full well that they, in fact, have no hope of getting onto the winner’s podium. The highlight of their sporting careers may be, “I competed in the London Olympics in 2012”. They have spent most of their lives preparing for this event and now their dream has come true!
From the opening ceremony on July 27th,to the closing one in three weeks time, London will be the place to be. Spectators from all over the world will travel to London to attend some of the events. It was interesting that the former Mayor of London, who was one of the leading figures in the decision firstly to bid for the games, and then to see the bid succeed, had applied for tickets for some events in the draw, but was unsuccessful. He, like many of us, will have to watch from out sitting rooms.
The Summer Olympic Games are held every four years with the previous one having been held in Beijing in 2008. In early times the Greeks held annual games in Olympia. There were several attempts in modern times to revive these games, but they were only side shows at the Paris Exposition in 1900 and the World’s Fair in St Louis in 1904. It was, however, under the prompting of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, in a meeting at the Sorbonne in Paris in July 1894, that the I.O.C. was formed. This resulted in the first games under their auspices taking place in Athens, Greece in 1896; 14 nations and 241 athletes, competed in 43 events.
The motto of the Games is “Citius, Altius, Fortis” or Faster, Higher, Stronger. Over the years the games have enjoyed their fair share of drama and controversy, and it continues so today.
Today’s multimillion pound event, with its 14 700 athletes competing in either the able bodied, or para-olympic games, is miles away from Greece in B.C. 600, in both distance and magnitude. I wonder what Count de Coubertin would say if he were to attend the games today. Would his dream have been fulfilled?