His­tory and de­vel­op­ment of phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and sports

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

THE FIRST Olympic Games were heav­ily based on reli­gion and were trib­utes to the gods of An­cient Greece. The Games can be traced as far back as 776 BC and were held ev­ery four years in Olympia, Greece, un­til 393 AD when they were banned by a Chris­tian, Em­peror Theo­do­sius I, who saw them as pa­gan fes­ti­vals.

The an­cient Olympics was also an op­por­tu­nity to show the abil­i­ties of young peo­ple and to pro­mote good re­la­tion­ships be­tween com­pet­ing cities. A truce was de­clared dur­ing the games, all fight­ing had to stop. Mar­ried woman were strictly for­bid­den to watch the Games, which of­fi­cially lasted one day, but grad­u­ally went to three and then five days of com­pe­ti­tion. The events com­peted in in­cluded ath­let­ics, box­ing, wrestling, pen­tathlon, which con­sists of three run­ning races, jump­ing and dis­cus throw, char­iot rac­ing, eques­trian events, and the pan­cratium, a vi­o­lent com­bi­na­tion of box­ing and wrestling. Win­ners were given lau­rel wreaths and palm branches, which were highly re­garded.


In 1894, Baron Pierre de Cou­bertin be­came in­spired by a num­ber of events that were held all claim­ing to be the re­vival of the Olympic Games. This led him to set up the In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee (IOC), ini­ti­at­ing the mod­ern Olympic Games. The baron had been im­pressed by the games he had seen in the English pub­lic schools and the ath­leti­cism they gen­er­ated. He wanted to im­prove the phys­i­cal health of his coun­try­men and thought the Olympic Games would be a good way to do it. The first game took place in Athens, Greece, in 1896, where 241 male ath­letes from 14 coun­tries com­peted in nine sports.

To­day, the Olympic Games is the world’s big­gest and most famous sport­ing event. Held ev­ery four years with both sum­mer and win­ter sports com­pe­ti­tion, the aim is to pro­mote the ideals of: I Per­sonal ex­cel­lence I Sport as ed­u­ca­tion I Cul­tural ex­change I Mass par­tic­i­pa­tion I Fair play I In­ter­na­tional un­der­stand­ing.

The In­ter­na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tee works to en­sure that a last­ing legacy is de­vel­oped, help­ing the host cities to change their com­mu­nity for the bet­ter. They are also work­ing with de­vel­op­ing coun­tries to help with ex­pan­sion of sport­ing pro­grammes, fo­cus­ing on ed­u­ca­tion and sport, peace and sports, women and sport, and sports and the en­vi­ron­ment. The Olympic val­ues of ex­cel­lence, re­spect and friend­ship are of huge im­por­tance be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the event. The last Olympic game in 2016 was held in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where 204 coun­tries took part in 26 sports. The next Olympic will be held in Tokyo, Ja­pan, in 2020.


1896 Athens 1900 Paris 1904 St Louis 1908 London 1912 Stock­holm 1916 can­celled (World War I) 1920 An­twerp 1924 Paris 1928 Am­s­ter­dam 1932 Los An­ge­les 1936 Ber­lin 1940 can­celled (World War II 1994) 1948 London 1952 Helsinki 1956 Mel­bourne 1960 Rome 1964 Tokyo 1968 Mex­ico City 1976 Mon­treal 1980 Moscow 1984 Los An­ge­les 1988 Seoul 1992 Barcelona 1996 At­lanta 2000 Syd­ney 2004 Athens 2008 Bei­jing 2012 London 2016 Rio de Janeiro

The IOC chooses the host city through its mem­bers’ votes. Cities, not coun­tries, put their names for­ward. A num­ber of scan­dals showed a great deal of bribery was in­volved in the process and new rules were in­tro­duced by the IOC in 1999. Cities can­not now be ac­cepted as of­fi­cial can­di­dates un­til the IOC Ex­ec­u­tive Board is sat­is­fied that they are prop­erly pre­pared, in line with IOC guide­lines. IOC mem­ber vis­its to such cities and gifts to IOC mem­bers are banned.

All Sum­mer Olympics since Arthur Wint win­ning Ja­maica’s first Olympic gold medal at the 1948 Games.

1984 have made healthy profit. There is sta­tus and pub­lic­ity for both the city and coun­try. They must im­prove their fa­cil­i­ties as well as roads, trans­port system, guest ac­com­mo­da­tion and tourist at­trac­tions. Hold­ing the Olympics pro­vides other com­mer­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties be­cause of the large in­flux of com­peti­tors and spec­ta­tors dur­ing the Games.


Cuba was the first Caribbean coun­try doc­u­mented to have en­tered the Sum­mer Olympic Games, do­ing so in 1900 in Paris. They won two medals, gold and sil­ver in fenc­ing. Haiti en­tered in 1924, but it was not un­til 1948 that teams from a num­ber of Caribbean coun­tries, in­clud­ing Ja­maica, and Trinidad and Tobago par­tic­i­pated.

Arthur Wint won Ja­maica’s first gold medal and Rod­ney Wilkes won a weightlift­ing bronze for Trinidad and Tobago. In 1998, a meet­ing of Caribbean del­e­gates took place to dis­cuss Caribbean Olymp­ism and the Caribbean As­so­ci­a­tion of Na­tional Olympic Com­mit­tees came to be es­tab­lished.



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