A Brief History
The Olympic Games were first held in the ancient Greek city of Elis almost three thousand years ago. The tradition has carried on through the ages and become the world’s biggest and most exclusive sporting event by far. The history of the Olympics is rich with tradition and symbolism, some of which we still celebrate although today’s Olympics are a far cry from those of the ancient civilization. Traditionally, those who were victorious were crowned with wreaths made from a sacred olive tree which grew behind the temple of Zeus (the mightiest of Greek God’s). Only the strongest, most powerful and most agile of Greeks enjoyed these victories although many of them were slaves.
The gladiators were kept in a gym by masters who would train under the supervision of an officer under brutal conditions. We know that these gladiators were worth little as sportsmen and humans in those days but carried value in their victories. The Greeks held victory in high regard and their lives revolved around this concept. This is why, in modern times, the Olympics still carry that sense of excellence in the global sporting community.
The Olympics in London
The London Olympics will take place in 2012. This will be the third time that London is hosting the Olympic Games as they were previously held here in 1908 and 1948. In fact, no other city has hosted the Olympics three times. The United Kingdom is one of the most developed economies in the world and quite capable of hosting the games given its world-class infrastructure. They are aiming to make some changes in time for the event. There are plans to improve the transport system and rejuvenate some un-kept areas like that of Stratford. There was a great deal of support for the bid from locals with statistics showing that 70% of those surveyed in the United Kingdom were for the bid and 68% within the London area specifically.
Olympic activities began mostly in the form of races. It started quite primitively but evolved over the years and there were eventually activities like boxing and chariot racing by 408 BC. Nowadays the Olympics are the showground for almost every popular sport known to man. Some of the Olympic activities include:
- Athletics – Running, sprinting, marathon etc.
- Water Polo
- Ice Skating
- Field Hockey
- Football Judo
- Rowing Sailing
- Table Tennis
- Speed Skating
- Skiing – Long distance, freestyle skiing etc.
- Ski Jumping
- Gymnastics – Ribbon, freestyle, ball etc.
- And others
- Will You Be There?
Tickets for the Olympic Games in London will go on sale this year and there are over 3 million available. If you are planning to go to some of the Paralympic events, there are a further 2 million tickets for this fraction. One of the amazing offers is free transport on the day that you are attending the event so your ticket will essentially be a transport pass as well. The hosts are aiming to get people to engage with public transport and to build the atmosphere for the games at the same time so expect to enjoy your travels with a number of excited spectators.