Long ago ancient Greeks often waged wars. Small states suffered and lost much even if they did not take any side and stayed out of wars. The ruler of such a small state Ellis [`i:lis] wanted to live at peace with all neighbours. He was a good diplomat and Ellis was recognized as a neutral state. To celebrate this achievement, he organized athletic games.
In the beginning this feast lasted only one day, but later a whole month was dedicated to it. All wars were stopped by special heralds who rode in all directions of Greece.
The Games were held every four years in Olympia on the territory of Ellis. The first games which later were called the Olympic Games were held about a thousand years before our era.
Usually the Olympic Games began before the middle of the summer. Best athletes arrived from all parts of Greece to Olympia to compete in running, long jump, throwing of discus and javelin, wrestling, fist fighting (boxing) and chariot races. Winners were called “olympionics”, they were awarded olive wreaths and cups of olive oil. This tradition has survived. In our time sportsmen often get cups and wreaths for winning the first place in sports competitions.
The olympionics of ancient Greece became very popular. Best craftsmen were chosen to make honorary cups, poets wrote and recited in public poems about the best athletes. Sculptors made their statues which were put up at the birthplace of winners.
Only men could take part in the Olympic Games. Women were not allowed even to watch the competition at the stadium under the fear of death penalty. There was a single exception when a woman coached her son and accompanied him to the stadium in men’s clothes. That brave woman was spared the penalty because her son won in many events. But from that time all athletes and their coaches had to compete without any clothes.
Magnificent strong bodies inspired artists and sculptors. They painted wall pictures and made statues of marble and bronze which we admire so much now.
The Olympic Games had been held for about eleven hundred years, until the emperor Theodosius banned them for religious reasons in 394 A.D.
The revival of the Olympic Games began long time afterwards, in 1892, when a young French teacher Pierre de Coubertin made a public speech before the Union of French sports clubs in Paris.
On the 23rd of June 1894 the International Congress of amateur sportsmen made an important decision: to revive the Olympic Games and establish the International Olympic Committee which would be responsible for the administration of the modern Olympic Games. The first Committee consisted of 12 members. Now 82 members control the affairs of 135 member countries which joined the Olympic movement.
The first Olympic Games of the modern times were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Winter sports made their Olympic debut in 1908, when ice figure skating was included in the Olympic programme among winter sports.
And in 1925 the International Olympic Committee made the decision to consider the International Winter Sports Week that had taken place in 1924 at Chamoux, France, as the first winter Olympic Games and to hold them since that time on.
V. Answer the questions to the text.
1. On what occasion did the ruler of Ellis organize athletic games ?
2. For how long did the feast last in the beginning ?
3. Who rode in all directions of Greece to stop wars ?
4. When and where did the Ancient Olympic Games take place?
5. How often were the Olympic Games held?
6. What events did the best athletes arrive to compete in?
7. How were the winners called and what were they awarded?
8. In what way were the olympionics of ancient Greece glorified?
9. Who could take part in the Olympic Games? Was there an exception?
10. Why were the Olympic Games banned by the emperor Theodosius?
11. What do you know about the revival of these popular games?
12. When and where did the first modern Olympic Games take place?
13. Who is responsible for the administration of the modern Olympic Games?
14. When did winter sports make their Olympic debut?
VI. Find errors in the following sentences and correct them.
1. Wars were often waged by ancient Greek.
2. Even if they did not took any part and stayed out of wars, small states suffered and lost much.
3. Due to it’s ruler, Ellis was recognized as a neutral state.
4. All wars was stopped by special heralds who rode in all directions of Greece.
5. Olympia where the games were held were on the territory of Ellis.
6. The tradition of awarding olympionics have survived.
7. Only man could take part in the Olympic Games.
8. Artists and sculptors was inspired by magnificent strong bodies.
9. The Olympic Games were revival only in 1892.
10. Over 135 member countries have join the Olympic movement.
VII. Mark the statements below as “True” or “False”.
1. The ruler of Ellis organized athletic games to celebrate the birth of his son.
2. The first Olympic Games were held 8 hundred years before our era.
3. As a rule the Olympic Games began before the middle of the summer.
4. Throwing of discus and javelin, wrestling and chariot races were the most popular events at the games.
5. Statues of olympionics were put at the birthplace of winners.
6. Women could compete only in certain events.
7. Athletes had to compete without any clothes because it was very hot in summer in Olympia.
8. The emperor Theodosius banned the games in 394 A.D. for private reasons.
9. The revival of the Olympic Games began shortly after they were banned.
10. The International Olympic Committee was established by the International Olympic Congress of amateur sportsmen in 1894.
VIII. Put the words in the right order to make up a sentences.
1. Live / to / he / neighbours / at / wanted /all / with/peace.
2. Olympia / in /were / games / the / held / every / years / four.
3. Olive / awarded / were / wreaths / and / winners / oil /cups /of / olive.
4. Part / Olympic / take /women /allowed / not / were / the / in /Games / to.
5. Woman /brave / was / that / spared / penalty / the.
6. Statues / made / sculptors / and / marble / of / olympionics / the / bronze /of.
7. French / young /a /revived / teacher / Olympic / movement / the.
8. Games / modern / of /times /the / Olympic /first / held /were / Athens / in.
9. Members / twelve /consisted / the /of /Committee / Olympic / first.
10. Stopped / wars / time /the / all /of / at / games / the.
IX. Complete these sentences according to the text.
1. To celebrate this event he organized …
2. Usually the Games began …
3. Best athletes arrived from all parts of Greece …
4. In our time sportsmen often get …
5. Women were not allowed even to watch …
6. Sculptors made their statues …
7. They painted wall pictures and made statues …
8. The Olympic Games had been held for …
9. There was a single exception when …
10. But from that time all athletes and their coaches …
X. Choose the correct answer.
1. The ruler of Ellis wanted to live at peace with all_____.
a) countries c) teams
b) people d) neighbours
2. The first games were ____ about a thousand years before our era.
a) begun c) made
b) held d) finished
3. The olympionics of ____ Greece became very popular.
a) old c) ancient
b) early d) modern
4. Magnificent bodies ____ artists and sculptors.
a) insured c) captured
b) enlarged d) inspired
5. The emperor Theodosius banned the games ____ religious reasons.
a) for c) about
b) at d) from
6. The revival of the Olympic Games began long ____ afterwards.
a) period c) distance
b) interval d) time
7. The first Olympic Games of modern times were held in ____ .
a) London c) Athens
b) Madrid d) Paris
8. Women were not allowed even to watch the ____ .
a) game c) match
b) show d) competition
9. Athletes and their coaches had to ____ without any clothes.
a) listen c) play
b) compete d) entertain
10. Only once a woman coached her son and accompanied him to the ____ in men’s clothes.