2. Study the text. What are the ancient myths connected with the history of the Olympic Games.
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, Elis, wanted to live in peace with all neighbours. He was a good diplomat because his negotiations were successful and Elis was recognized a neutral state. To celebrate this achievement, he organized athletic games.
In the beginning this feast lasted one day, but later a whole month was devoted to it. All wars and feuds 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 Elis. 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 many Greek states to Olympia to compete in running, long jumps, throwing of discus and javelin and wrestling. In the course of time fist fighting (boxing) and chariot races were also included in the Games. All athletes took an oath that they had been preparing for the Games and promised to compete honestly and keep the rules of the sacred Olympics. The athletes took part in all kinds of competitions. 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 honourary cups, many poets wrote and recited in public poems about the best athletes. Sculptors made their statues which were put up at the birthplace of the winners. The Olympic Games were accompanied by arts festivals. Poets recited their poems, singers sang hymns, dancers danced and orators pronounced speeches — all this in honour of the sacred Games.
Only men could take part in the Olympic Games. Women were not allowed even to watch the competitions at the stadium under the fear of death penalty.
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. At that time many people in many countries practiced various kinds of sports and games. They wanted to make friends and compete with sportsmen from other lands. Pierre de Coubertin understood the importance of sports which unified peoples of the world and served the cause of peace like in ancient time. On the 23rd of June 1894 the International Congress of amateur sportsmen made an important decision: to revive the Olympic Games and to 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 of the International Olympic Committee control the affairs of all member countries which joined the Olympic movement.
3. Discuss with your group mate.
1. When and where were the first-ever Olympic Games held?
2. Why did the Greek Olympic Games end?
3. What makes the opening ceremonies of the Olympics impressive?
4. Choose the correct answer among suggested.
1. The Olympic Games began over a) 27 b) 270 c) 2700 years ago in a) Athens b) Olympia c) Sparta, in southwest Greece.
2. The Games were part of a a) religious b) sport c) music festival.
3. The games were held in honour of a) Diana b) Hermes c) Zeus, and were held every a) four b) second c) third years at Olympia.
4. People from all over the a) Europe b) Greece c) Norway world came to watch and take part.
5. At the first Olympic Games, the only event was a short sprint from one end of the a) stadium b) school yard c) forest to the other.
6. Later they included a) ice skating b) swimming c) wrestling, boxing, long jump, throwing the javelin and a) ball b) discus c) horse shoe, and chariot racing.
7. Winners were given a a) wreath of leaves b) medal c) cup, and a hero's welcome back home.
1. Study the text. When were the Olympics restored? And by who?
The Summer Games involve a number of organizations. The main aim of these organizations is to organize Summer Games. All these organizations taken together form the Olympic Movement. These organizations operate following the rules and guidelines mentioned in the Olympic Charter. The term Olympic Movement also means to include everybody and everything involved in the Summer Games — national sport governing bodies, athletes, media, and sponsors of the Summer Games.
The Birth of the Olympic Movement: Many countries started to realize the importance of physical education and exercise in the 19th century. The athletic movement gained momentum in England, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and America. The force behind the international Olympic Movement that spawned the revived Games was a French educator, Pierre de Coubertin. Coubertin was desperate to reform the education system of France. This desperation had led to his interest in reviving the Summer Games. With the inventions of railways and the telegraph, interest in international athletic competitions increased. It was the perfect time for the revival of the Summer Games, described by Coubertin as "the logical culmination of a great movement.” When the ancient city of Olympia was excavated, Coubertin started to campaign for the revival of the Summer Games as an international event. His views were accepted and the modern Olympics were born in 1896. This also marks the birth of the Olympic Movement.
The Structure of the Olympic Movement: Many organizations are involved in the Olympic Movement. At the heart core of the Olympic Movement is the International Olympic Committee. The International Olympic Committee is also known as IOC. This committee can be considered to be the government of the Olympics. IOC takes care of the daily problems, and makes all the important decisions like the host city of the Summer Games. The committee also decides on the programs of the Olympics. In the Olympic Movement, three groups of organizations operate on a specified level. These groups are—
- International Federations (IFs) – these are the governing bodies of a sport,
- National Olympic Committees (NOCs) – these organizations regulate the Olympic Movement within each country,
- Organizing Committees for the Summer Games (OCOGs) –these organizations take care of the organization of a particular celebration of the Summer Games.
202 NOCs and 35 IFs are part of the Olympic Movement at present. OCOGs are dissolved after the completion of each Summer Games.
3. A sport in which Tiger Woods is Champion.
5. A racquet sport, popular in China.
8. The five rings on the Olympics represent five ... .
9. The Olympic Games are held every ... years.
11. Modern Olympic Games have been played .... 1896.
12. What sport is David Beckham famous for?
14. The Olympic motto is " Swifter, Higher and ...".
15. There is the Winter and .... Olympics.
16. ... is an event in Winter Olympics.
1. Another name for table tennis?
2. Long distance running event inspired by the
Legend of Pheidippides.
3. The highest award in the Olympic Games.
4. A football game lasts ... ninety minutes.
6. People who compete in the Olympic Games.
7. Where were the first modern Olympics played?
10. Which city were the second modern Olympics held in?
12. How many interlocking rings are in the Olympic flag?
13. What do we light at the Olympics and carry around?
The Olympic Games
1. Study the text. Find out what countries hosted the Olympic Games.
The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international multi-sport event, occurring every four years, organized by the International Olympic Committee. Medals are awarded in each event, with gold medals for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a tradition that started in 1904.
The Olympics have increased from a 42-event competition with fewer than 250 male athletes to a 300-event sporting celebration with over 10,000 competitors from 205 nations.
The United States has hosted four Summer Olympics Games, more than any other nation. The United Kingdom will have hosted three Summer Olympics Games when they return to the British capital in 2012, all of them have been (and will be) in London, making it the first city to hold the Summer Olympic Games three times. Australia, France, Germany and Greece have all hosted the Summer Olympic Games twice. Other countries that have hosted the summer Olympics are Belgium, Canada, Finland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, the Soviet Union and Sweden. China hosted the Summer Olympics for the first time in Beijing in 2008 and the UK hosted the Summer Olympics for the third time in London in 2012. In the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Janeiro will host the first Summer Games in South America.
The Winter Olympics were created to feature snow and ice sports that were logistically impossible to hold during the Summer Games. Figure skating (in 1908 and 1920) and ice hockey (in 1920) were featured as Olympic events at the Summer Olympics. The IOC desired to expand this list of sports to encompass other winter activities. At the 1921 Olympic Congress it was decided to hold a winter version of the Olympic Games. A winter sports week (it was actually 11 days) was held in 1924 in Chamonix, France; this event became the first Winter Olympic Games. The IOC mandated that the Winter Games be celebrated every four years on the same year as their summer counterpart. This tradition was upheld until the 1992 Games in Albertville, France; after that, beginning with the 1994 Games, the Winter Olympics were held on the third year of each Olympiad.Recent Winter Olympic Games were held in Sochi (Russia) in 2014.
Paralympics.In 1948, Sir Ludwig Guttmann, determined to promote the rehabilitation of soldiers after World War II, organized a multi-sport event between several hospitals to coincide with the 1948 London Olympics. Guttmann's event, known then as the Stoke Mandeville Games, became an annual sports festival. Over the next twelve years, Guttmann and others continued their efforts to use sports as an avenue to healing. For the 1960 Olympic Games, in Rome, Guttmann brought 400 athletes to compete in the "Parallel Olympics", which became known as the first Paralympics. Since then, the Paralympics have been held in every Olympic year.
In 2001 the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) signed an agreement which guaranteed that host cities would be contracted to manage both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The agreement came into effect at the Summer Games in Beijing 2008, and the Winter Games in Vancouver 2010. Chairman of the London organising committee, Lord Coe, said about the 2012 Summer Paralympics and Olympics in London, England that, “We want to change public attitudes towards disability, celebrate the excellence of Paralympic sport and to enshrine from the very outset that the two Games are an integrated whole”.
2. Discuss in groups how Winter Olympics differ from Summer Olympics, how do they refer to Paralympics?
3. Choose the correct answer among suggested.
1. Women were a) abolished b) stopped c) forbidden to take part in the ancient Olympic Games or even to be spectators.
2. The first modern Olympic Games were a) participated b) played c) held in Athens in 1896.
3. The International Olympic Committee is the supreme a) team b) conglomerate c) organization of the Olympic movement.
4. The winner of an event receives a gold medal, the competitor in second place receives silver and the competitor in third position is a) awarded b) prized c) commissioned a bronze medal.
5. It is not a country that a) plays c) hosts c) trades an Olympic Games, but a city that is given the honour.
6. The Olympic rings represent the union of the five a) provinces b) continents c) countries.
7. The Olympic flame had been part of the ancient games and first a) took place b) created c) appeared in the modern games in 1928.
8. All competitors receive a diploma and a commemorative medal marking their a) participation b) performance c) play in the Olympic Games.
9. Originally a strict code regarding amateur a) status b) division c) level restricted the number of participants who were eligible.
10. The first Olympic Games to be televised live were the 1936 games in Berlin. Television is now a vital a) source b) fountain c) route of income for the Olympic Committee.
11. Though women had competed before, it was not until the games of 1912 that women were formally a) incarcerated b) admitted c) established.
12. Although the Olympic Games is meant to bring together the athletes of the world in peaceful competition, it has been a) involved b) effected c) blessed by political tensions.
4. Write the letter of the word that best matches the meaning.
_______1) athletes serve, jump and spike the ball
_______2) a racquet sport where athletes hit a ball back and forth over a dividing net
_______3) athletes compete by running and jumping over several frames
_______4) athletes use a racquet to hit a feathered ball(shuttlecock)
_______5) a water sport where athletes compete by swimming fast
_______6) athletes compete by shooting an arrow with a bow
_______7) athletes do several acrobatic stunts and are judge by a panel of judges
_______8) athletes compete by riding bicycles
_______9) athletes dribble and kick the ball
_______10) athletes use a blunt rapier to hit an opponent
_______11) a field sport where athletes throw a heavy metal ball
_______12) athletes compete by riding a horse over a barrier
_______13) a pitcher throws the ball and a batter hits the ball with a bat
_______14) athletes wear special gloves and punch each other
_______15) a beautiful sport where athletes plunge into water in style
_______16) a field sport where athletes throw a long spear
_______17) sport where athletes dunk the ball into a hanging basket-like ring
1. Study the text. Find the most popular Olympic Symbols.