The Olympic Games are a major international sporting event featuring both summer and winter events, with thousands of competitors taking part. The Games are currently held every two years, with Summer and Winter Olympic Games alternating, although they occur every four years within their respective seasonal games. Since 2008, host cities are contracted to manage both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games, where athletes who have a physical disability compete. The organization is headed by the International Olympic Committee, which was founded in 1890 after the first games held in Athens, Greece to become the governing body of the Olympic movement, originally lead by French philanthropist Pierre de Coubertin.
The Olympic Movement has resulted in bringing the nations of the world closer together through competitive sports, and has become a major televised event around the world. The Olympics, however, have also been in the center of political events, including the cancellation of the games in 1912, 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to the world wars, and the 1956, 1960, 1984 and 1988 events being boycotted due to the tensions of the Tri-Powers Conflict and later the Dual Powers Conflict.
List of Summer Games
The first modern Olympic Games were held in the homeland of the ancient sport competition. Many of the events, such as the races and gymnastics, were even held at the ancient sites. It was considered a success, with French and American tourists leading the way in medals (due to the fact that their was no official national organizations).
After the 1912 and 1916 games were cancelled because of the Second Global War, Moscow was given the games that they would have received in 1912. With facilities already almost completed then, they merely updated and prepared them for the new games. Although subdued, and very much in favor of the victors of the previous war due to nations like Germany, Britain or the Confederacy not being invited, the games were considered a success, but reconciliation between the world would have to wait until London 1924.
The first Olympic events held on the British Isles, London of 1924 was supposed to be a "rehabilitation" of the defeated nations of the Second Global War, in the center of the largest city in Europe. King George V opened the games, calling for "peace, reconciliation and prosperity" for all competitors and nations. Britain continued its dominance of athletic events, while Russia surprised everyone winning gold in four man rowing against the favored British and French teams.
In a surprising move, the 1928 Summer games were awarded to the city of Winnipeg, Assiniboia, in 1921. Although the city was one of the largest in North America at the time (and still is), the belief that the games would be failure hung over the planning stages. Overcoming enormous obstacles, setbacks, cost overruns and delays, the games were a major success nevertheless. The games showed off the city of Winnipeg and the nation of Assiniboia to the world, opening it arms for over 7500 competitors from 49 nations, as well as being one of the first to have events publicized on radio and filmed for newsreels. The most well known event was an unknown Assiniboian athlete, Jacques Felin, who surged past the favored competitors in both the 100 and 200 meter events, winning gold in both (and was, however, the nations only two gold medals in the games). The Winnipeg Olympics was also noticeable for the first time that the Olympic flame was lit, though no relay was run. However, the flame was unable to be lit in Greece and then transported to Winnipeg, as was the original plan, so a staged "Greek spectacle" was organized. This was, and remains, the only time that the Olympic flame was not lit in Greece and delivered to the host city.
Despite the Stock Market Crashes on 1931, the Warsaw Games were to continue on, with bother IOC and the Polish Government agreeing. Having been awarded the games in 1925, Poland had set out to surpass the Winnipeg Games held in 1928, and the Paris Games the Olympiad before that.. Cost overruns, corruption and the Depression all took its toll on the planning and building for the games, and despite grandiose ideas, the games barely managed to pull together in time for the games to begin. And, when one of the Athlete's residences collapsed due to the shoddy construction work, and the front façade of the stadium cracked after a rain storm, the death knell of the games was sounded, and Poland was utterly humiliated by the outcome, and Poland would never again be considered for another game, even seventy years later. France was, as since the Olympic's founding, the overall medal count winner, with 25 Gold, 39 silver and 12 Bronze medals.
A mighty spectacle organized by the Liberty Party of the Confederate States of America to show off the new CSA to the world, the Charleston Games were perhaps the epitome of National Socialist propaganda before the Third Global War. One of the most memorable moments was when African-American athlete Jessie Jackson captured four gold medals in long distance sprints, which forced the racist CS media to try to explain why an "inferior" had won the medal, while returning to the United States a hero. France once again captured the most medals, but the United States came close. The Confederacy also made the best showing they ever would, even after re-unification in 1997.
With two Olympics being cancelled because of the Third Global War, being 1940 and 1944, it appeared that the Olympic movement was nearly destroyed. However, the IOC approached Australasia before the end of the war to see if they, being the least damaged nation of the war, and Prime Minister Lionel Logue answered that the nation would do what it could. When the war ended, Australasia had only a year and a half to get ready, but decided to use mostly existing facilities to speed the development of the games. Although the "Austerity Games" get off without a hitch, the rough shod and hastily improvised schedule did result in several incidents, including the inability to host any equestrian events Down Under due to quarantine restrictions (they were held in Stockholm instead). But the games did help to lift the spirits of many, especially as the world was struggling to rebuild itself. As in the aftermath of the Second Global War, none of the defeated nations participated, although more so due to the destruction of their governments than any hostility to the peoples of those nations.
The Tokyo Games took place in an era when the Tri-Powers Conflict was just starting, with the games being held up by commentators around the world as perhaps the best way for the world to resolve its differences, and channel its energies through sport. However, this was clearly not the case as the Japanese staged a massive, choreographed military maneuver during the opening ceremonies, resulting in the games being dubbed the "Imperial Battle Drill" by the US media. However, the US was the true powerhouse of the games, for the first time since the inception of the games eclipsing the French medal count. This would spark an increasingly antagonistic and violent rivalry between the two nations during the Olympics that would last until the 1980s.
The "Millennium" Games, as they became known, became on the of the most popular games as far. Despite the 9/9/99 attacks in France and Japan and the resultant higher security measures introduced, the Athens games took on the appearance of a festival, with ordinary Greeks coming out in droves and cheering everyone. France won the most medals, followed by the United States and Brazil, but the biggest event was when Persian track athlete Alsan Brashd captured gold in the 100 and 200 meter sprint, only two years after he broke a leg during practice, and sidelining him for over a year.
80 years after it was first held in Winnipeg, the Summer Olympics returned to Assiniboia. However, as much of a repeat as the 1928 games, the choice of Winnipeg was a shock, as the two other contenders, Dublin, Ireland, and Baghdad, Persia, were considered the stronger nominees. However, President Stephen Harper promised that the games would "find its place here in Assiniboia", and he was true to his word. The games were a stunner, with a new stadium and faculties, although some of the older venues from the 1928 games were updated to modern standards and used, most notably the rowing facilities on the Red and Assiniboine River's. The games themselves were a success, but not as successful as the 2004 games in Lyons before, and the Winnipeg Games would always have to be shadowed by its predecessor. Many records were set, including that of the "World's Fastest Man," Zauli Budaual of Ethiopia. The most medals went to China, With France and the US following closely behind. Assiniboia, however, achieved a personal best, winning 10 gold, 13 silver and 5 bronze, a record for the nation in the Summer Games.
After being snubbed for the 2008 games, the IOC awarded the 2012 games to Ireland, focused on the capital Dublin. Other events, such as bicycling and the marathon, were held outside the city. The games themselves were designed to show the prosperity and success of the small island nation, while it was also used as a raproachment with England after the horrors they inflicted on Ireland in the Third Global War. Over all, the games were considered a success, with France claiming the most medals, and the US coming in a close second. One of the most enduring images during the events was a French gymnast who won the bronze paying a visit to an American gymnast in the hospital after she broke her foot during the uneven bars. This event was hailed as an example of how the world had changed, especially when compared to the almost antagonistic rivalry between the two nations during the 1960s and 70s.
List of Winter Olympic Games
The first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1922, when Russia, the winner of the 1920 Summer Games, proposed in 1918 that an international event showcasing winter sports be started. The International Olympic Committee agrees for a "test", but the overwhelming support for the games convinces the IOC to make the Winter Games a separate event, taking place in between the summer games.
The Vancouver Winter Olympic Games were one of the most popular in recent history. Although it started on a rocky start due to the need to ship snow to Whistler to finish some of the ski runs, and the death of a Russian slider during a practice run a few hours before the opening ceremony cast a dark shadow over the start of the games. But the otherwise minor controversies of restricted access to the downtown Olympic Cauldron, and cancellation of tickets due to unsafe conditions due to the warm winter. Overall, it was a success, with Alyseka, for the first time since 1978 in Russia did the home team win the most gold medals, at 10, including curling, ice hockey and snowboarding. Observers said that the Games had one of the best atmospheres during the games since Athens in 2000, and was one of the best games ever hosted.