OLYMPIC GAMES

Why are the Olympic Games held every four years?

In 1924, the first Olympic Winter Games were held in France. Between 1924 and 1992, the Summer and Winter Games were held in the same years.

Why are the Olympic Games held every four years?
ISSEI KATO REUTERS

The Olympic Games are held every fours to respect the ancient origins of the Olympic Games, which were held every four years at Olympia.

The four-year interval between the Ancient Games editions was named an “Olympiad”, and was used for dating purposes. Time was counted in Olympiads rather than years at the time.

The history of the Games goes back around 3,000 years, to the Peloponnese in Ancient Greece. Sports contests organised at Olympia were held every four years and eventually acquired the name Olympic Games.

It is unknown when exactly the Games started, but the date of 776 BC is often cited in written sources. The exact reasons for the birth of the Games are still unknown, as history has become mixed up with mythology.

Origin of the Olympics

The origin of the Olympics is shrouded in mystery and legend. One of the most popular myths identifies Heracles and his father Zeus as the progenitors of the Games. According to legend, it was Heracles who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of holding them every four years. The myth continues that after Heracles completed his twelve labours, he built the Olympic Stadium as an honour to Zeus.

The Olympic Games were part of a cycle known as the Panhellenic Games, which included the Pythian Games, the Nemean Games, and the Isthmian Games. The Games reached the height of their success in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, but then gradually declined in importance as the Romans gained power and influence in Greece.

International Olympic Committee formed

The plan to recreate the Olympic Games was introduced in 1894, and the International Olympic Committee was formed. In 1896, the first modern Olympics were held in Athens. The revival of the Olympic Games in 1896, unlike the original Games, has a clear history. Pierre de Coubertin (1863–1937), a young Frenchman, felt that he could create an educational program in France that ran with the ancient Greek notion of a balance of mind and body. The Greeks themselves had tried to revive the Olympics by holding local athletic games in Athens during the 1800s, but without lasting success.

In 1924, the first Olympic Winter Games were held in France. Between 1924 and 1992, the Summer and Winter Games were held in the same years. In 1986, the IOC resolved to hold the Winter Games in four year intervals that were two years after the Summer Games.

Thirteen countries competed at the Athens Games in 1896. Nine sports were on the agenda: cycling, fencing, gymnastics, lawn tennis, shooting, swimming, track and field, weight lifting, and wrestling. The 14-man US team dominated the track and field events, taking first place in nine of the 12 events. The Games were a success, and a second Olympiad, to be held in France, was then scheduled. Olympic Games were held in 1900 and 1904, and by 1908 the number of competitors more than quadrupled the number at Athens, from 311 to 2,082.

Tokyo 2021: latest covid-19 news

Tokyo Olympics organisers on Sunday reported three cases of covid-19 infection among athletes as the population of the athlete's village swells ahead of the start of the pandemic-hit Games next week. Organisers reported 10 new cases connected to the Olympics including media, contractors and other personnel, down from 15 reported on Saturday.

An International Olympic Committee member from South Korea tested positive for the coronavirus on landing in Tokyo. Ryu Seung-min, a former Olympic athlete, is vaccinated, reflecting the infection risk even from vaccinated attendees.

Infection rates are climbing among the general population of the capital, topping 1,000 new cases for four consecutive days. Polls show many Japanese oppose holding the Games with the influx of overseas visitors it entails.

The rainy season ended in Tokyo on Friday, bringing blue skies and intense heat. The burden on participants has been increased by virus countermeasures like masking.