Olympics has been the most famous competition of sports with over 200 nations participating from all over the globe. It has been a source of spreading the message of peace and harmony among mankind and that in a very grand way for over hundred years now. This monstrosity of an event takes place once in every four years with participants from all over the word. It is more than just sports and games, Sasha Cohen says:
“The Olympics is about showing what you’ve done with your life, your dream as an athlete and sharing that with the world.”
– Sasha Cohen
Before on the Russianblogger.me I already posted couple articles about Russian Olympics 2014 – when the Olympics in Sochi start and cost of the Sochi games. In this article you’ll mostly find some historical facts about the Olympic Games and Sochi 2014 overall information.
History of the Olympics
The Winter Olympics were first held in Chamonix, France, in 1924.The Olympic Movement uses symbols to represent the ideals embodied in the Olympic Charter. The Olympic symbol, better known as the Rings of Olympics, consists of five intertwined rings and represents the unity of the five inhabited continents (Africa, America, Asia, Oceania and Europe). The colored version of the rings: Blue, Yellow, Black, Green, red over a white field forms the Olympic flag. These colors were chosen because every nation had at least one of them on its national flag. The flag was adopted in 1914 but flown for the first time only at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium. It has since been elevated during each celebration of the Games.
The Olympic motto, ,”Citius, Altius, Fortius”, a Latin expression meaning “Faster, higher, stronger ” was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894 and has been official since 1924. The motto was coined by Coubertin’s friend the Dominican priest Henry Didon OP, for a Paris youth gathering of 1891.
Coubertin’s Olympic ideals are expressed in the Olympic Creed:
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well”
Opening of the Olympic Games
Olympic game’s opening ceremonies, in addition to the national anthem of the hosting nation, consist of music, singing, dancing and a theatre of its illustrative culture. After the artistic portion of the ceremony, the athletes parade into the stadium grouped by nation. Greece is traditionally the first nation to enter in order to honor the origins of the Olympics. Nations then enter the stadium alphabetically according to the host country’s chosen language, with the host country’s athletes being the last to enter. During the 2004 Summer Olympics , which was hosted in Athens, the Greek flag entered the stadium first, while the Greek delegation entered last. After the parade, speeches are given, formally opening the Games. Lastly, the Olympic torch is brought into the stadium and passed on until it reaches the final torch carrier, often a successful Olympic athlete from the hosting nation, who lights the Olympic flame in the stadium’s cauldron.
The closing ceremony takes place when all the sports and games have taken place. Each participating country’s flag is carried by the selected athlete with the athletes of his country behind him. At first, the flag of Greece is waved, as a sign of respect for the origin of Olympic Games, followed by the flag of the nation who will be hosting the next Summer or Winter Olympic games. After the closing speeches have been given, a special Olympic flag is transferred to the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from the hosting city’s mayor, who then passes it on the mayor of the city hosting the next Olympic Games, this ceremony is known as Antwerp ceremony.
“I love the Olympic Games. The Olympics are an event that few can fathom but all can enjoy, and that’s why athletes work our whole lives to put on the greatest show on Earth.”
– Johnny Weir
Facts about the Olympic Games in Sochi
As the tradition has been passed on from generations after generations, after four years, Olympic Games will again be held in the Fisht Olympic Stadium, Sochi, Russia this year from 7 to 23 February. This year’s winter games will be comprising of 98 different sporting events in which hundreds of athletes will be competing each other to win the ultimate prize, the Olympic gold medal.
The new events included in this year’s Olympic Winter Games are biathlon mixed relay, women’s ski jumping, figure skating mixed team, luge mixed team, ski half-pipe (men’s and women’s), ski slope style (men’s and women’s), snowboard slope style (men’s and women’s) and snowboard parallel slalom (men’s and women’s).
U.S.S.R will be hosting the Winter games for the first time, and it is a matter of great honor for any country to be granted a chance to host such exquisite events. As the security and safety of the competition goes, there are risks of attacks from multinational terrorists looking to wreak havoc in the events, but the mayor Vladimir Putin has announced that this year’s games will be “the safest Olympics in history”. The financing and budget in this year’s games has reached over US$51 Billion massively exceeding the total budget decided which is US$12 Billion, making the Sochi games the most expensive games in the history of mankind.
The Olympic torch was lit on 29 September 2013, in Ancient Olympia. Marking the beginning of a seven-day journey across Greece to Russia. The torch relay passed 83 Russian cities before starting off for Sochi from Moscow on 7th February 2014, the day of the 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Another fun fact is that this was the longest torch relay in Olympic history with a distance of 40,000-mile through all the regions of the country, from Kaliningrad in the west to Chukotka in the east.
The 2014 Winter Olympics have all the eyes set on it. It has been remarkable so far and has been breaking all the records made by its predecessors. With this kind of effort and determination in play, you can just feel the shrills this year’s Olympics are about to bring. I for one am rooting for this great event to start and once again change our history. The events will start from 7 to 23 February 2014. So don’t forget to mark your calendars and enjoy this life-changing experience.