Hey ABA friends and fellow sports lovers!
Can you all believe that the Olympic Games 2016 have finally arrived? I mean, it feels like we have been waiting years for them to start! Well, we have! In today’s special post, we are going to be looking at some cool facts about this year’s games as well as learning some history about the spectacle that is the modern-day Olympic Games, as we know them.
What makes the Rio de Janeiro games so special?
First of all, the facts in numerical form of these games are mesmerising- for example, I couldn’t believe just how many countries participated in the games- have a look for yourselves!
Facts in numbers:
- More than 200 countries are participating!- 206 to be precise!
- There are going to be 306 events
- Matches will be played in 42 sports
- There will be 37 venues in action during the games.
First of all- take a second to recover from those numbers before we move on, because if that didn’t surprise you, then I don’t know what will.
History of the ancient Olympic Games
According to the history books, the old Olympic Games are said to have started around the 8th century BC and carried on until the 4th century AD. This means that they started almost 3,000 years ago! They were held every four years in Olympia, Greece in honour of the God Zeus.
It is believed that the first written records of the ancient Olympic Games happened in 776 BC, although there is a lot of speculation that the games had actually been going on for a long time before this. Of this, however, it would be hard to be exactly sure.
Where do the modern-day Olympic Games come into play?
As far as we are aware from history, there were no Olympic Games between the 4th century AD and the 19th century, that is, until the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens, fittingly enough. At these Olympic Games, there were 13 nations present and represented and a total of 43 events were put on. Think about these numbers with today’s numbers for Rio de Janeiro.
Why are these games important to Brazil?
This is the first time that this vast country of more than 200 million people has hosted the Olympic Games. Unfortunately Brazil has a lot of poverty in its favelas, but the hope is that these games create a lot of money which will trickle down to these areas and help them.
To the viewer at home:
Make sure that you support your national team during these games and also show your support for Brazil which has put so much effort into these games. May your country be very lucky!