The Olympic Games, or Olympics, is a sporting event which takes place every four years and encompasses a variety of competitions.
Games include the Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, Paralympics and Youth Olympics.
More than 200 nations participate, the biggest pool of countries for any worldwide event, whilst thousands of athletes compete against each other for their respective teams.
The modern Olympics are based on the ancient Olympic Games, which date back to eighth century BC. They used to take place in Olympia in Greece.
It was Baron Pierre de Coubertin who founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894. It was set up to become the governing body for the Olympic Movement. They were seeking to organise a modern games.
Two years later, the first modern Summer Olympics were held. The event was known as Olympiad I and was held in Athens, Greece.
Paris in France became the first city to host an Olympics outside of Greece in 1900, while four years later St Louis in the United States held Olympiad III.
In 1924 the Olympic Movement created the Winter Olympic Games. The opening host city was Chamonix, France. Just like the Summer Games, the event was set up to take place every four years. Initially it was held in the same year as its summer equivalent but that changed in 1994 to ensure a two-year gap between the Summer and Winter Olympics.
1960 saw the first ever Paralympic Games, while more recently in 2010 a Youth Games was set up for the younger generation of athletes.
For each Olympics, the IOC receives bids from respective nations to host the Games. The winning party is then responsible for organising and funding the event according to the Olympic Charter.
Every Games has an opening and closing ceremony, which is usually held in the main athletics stadium. The Olympic flag is lifted and a torch is lit to officially mark the start of the competition.
The sports that make up the Olympics have changed over the years and are revised every four years. There are currently 33 sports that make up the games, and these consist of just short of 400 events.
The winners of each event receive a gold medal, whilst there are also silver and bronze medals given out for those in second and third place respectively. A medals table is kept over the Games for each nation.
The United States have been the most successful nation in the history of the modern competition with 2400 medals to their name.
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