The Olympic Games are an international sports compe­tition. In the Olympics, athletes play in many types of games. Some athletes compete in the Summer Olympics. Some com­pete in the Summer Olympics. The Olympic Games are very old and have a very interesting history.

The first Olympic Games were held in Greece in an­cient times. They probably began in the sixth century B.C. The contests are held every four years in the summer. The first games lasted for only one day. There was only one con­test. It was a short race. Only Greek men were allowed to run in the race. Women were not allowed to watch the games either, or to be anywhere nears the gaming area. Other events were added later, swimming. But the ancient games were stopped in the fourth century, A.D., when Greece was ruled by Rome.

The Olympics were started again in the nineteenth cen­tury, after Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a Frenchman, who later being recognized as the Father of Modem Olympics, sug­gested that it would be good to have the game again, but not just for Greek People. De Coubertin organized a meeting in 1894. Representatives from nine countries went to the meet­ing in Paris. They agreed to start the Olympic Games again in Athens, Greece, in 1896.

The Olympic Games have been held every four years since 1896. Three times, the games were not held because of a world war. There were no games in 1916, 1940, and 1944. The first competition in modem times was held in Athens, but not all of the games have been held there. The Olympic Games are held in many different cities around the world. The 2008 Olympic will be held in Beijing, China.

Baron de Coubertin also started a committee to run the Olympics. This committee is called the International Olym­pic Committee (IOC). It has offices in Lausanne, Switzer­land. The Committee has made many decisions that affect the modem Olympics. In 1912, the Committee decided to al­low women to compete. In 1924, a second group of games was begun. These new games were played in the winter of each Olympic year. The IOC also makes the rules for athletes in the Olympics.

The events and games of the Olympics are of several different types. There are individual contests, where each ath­lete plays alone. To win this type of contests, one athlete must be better, faster, or stronger than other athletes. In a second group of events and games, three or four athletes work as a group. These contests are, for example, the relay races, mixed doubles badminton, etc. In a third group of games, teams from each country compete in sports. The teams play games such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, etc.

For an athlete, winning in the Olympics is a great achieve­ment. The games are not easy to win, whether in the Summer Olympics or in the Winter Olympics. The goal of Olympic athletes is expressed in their motto, “Swifter, higher, stronger” By undergoing the stress and strain of tough competition, they grow in strength, endurance, discipline. They learn to respect and to cooperate with people from many nations. Each Ol­ympics year, their creed reminds them that the most impor­tant thing in the Games is not winning, but participating. The Oath they take binds them to abide by the rules of the Olym­pic Games, “in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our country”