Human Olympic Games have a long and rich history. Like the orginal games from Greece, the first modern-day Olypmics were also held in Athens, in 1896. Fourteen countries participated and there were only 43 events. So how did the modern games get started? In 394 A.D. the Emperor of Roman banned the pagan sports as part of his campaign to make Chritianity the official religion of of this Empire. Jump ahead a few years...1,502, to be exact. The modern games came about when European philanthropists in the 19th century were inspired to bring them back as a way to 'improve the moral and physical education of the masses.' Two Greek philanthropists paid to have the Panathenaic Stadium restored. Games were held there in 1859, 1870, and 1875. The village of Shropshire, England, began hosting their own Olympic games in 1850. William Penny Brokes, a local doctor, devised these games and they're still held there today. In 1890, A visiting Frenchman became inspired by the town's enthusiactic response to the games and founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC). This group still works towards setting up Olympic games every four years, held all over the world. They have been held continuously ever since, except in 1940 and 1944, during World War II.
The 2016 games will be held in Rio and it marks the first time the games have been held in South America! The games will be comprised of 306 events in 28 sports. This year, including rugby sevens and golf...both for the first time.
The Olympic games have a long and proud tradition, wherever they're held. I'm excited to attend the games in Lily Pad, later this year. I don't know if my surfing skills will be quite ready to debut at this year's inaugural event, but I'm having fun learning. As a frog, any time I can spend in the water is just fine with me. If you can't attend this summer's games in Rio, I hope you'll support them by watching them on TV. These athletes train very hard, for many years, and to have the support of spectators, like you, makes it all worthwhile, And winning a gold medal doesn't hurt, either!
Happy Anniversary, Olympic Games!