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The Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is the greatest international sport event in the world, in which thousands of athletes compete in different types of sport. The Olympic idea means friendship, fraternity and cooperation among the people of the world. The Olympic Games were very important for ancient world: in the period of Games all wars were stopped. The first Olympic Games began in ancient Greece in 776 BC. These games were part of a festival held every four years in honour of God Zeus in the town called Olympia. It was a great athletic festival, including competitions in wrestling, running, chariot racing, rowing and others. All athletes competed naked. The modern word “gymnastics” originates from Greek word “gymos” that means naked. Only men could take part in the Olympic Games. Greek women were forbidden not only to participate but also to watch the Games. The Olympic Games took place from the 8th century BC till the 4th century AD. In 394 AD the Roman Emperor Theodosius banned the Olympic Games because he thought them to be a pagan festival. In the 19th century Baron Pierre de Coubertin decided to revive the Olympic Games. For this purpose he founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, and two years later, in 1896 the modern summer Olympic Games were held in Athens. The Games take place every two years now, with Summer and Winter Olympic Games alternating. The Paralympic Games were organized for athletes with physical disabilities, and the Youth Olympic Games for teenage athletes. Paralympic means a competition held in parallel with the Olympic Games. The Olympic motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius”, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. The motto was proposed by Pierre de Coubertin and was introduced in 1924. A more informal but well known motto is the most important thing is not to win but to take part! The symbol of the Olympic Games is composed of five interlinked rings, coloured blue, yellow, black, green and red on a white field. This was originally designed in 1912 by Coubertin. These five rings represent the five continents: America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia. The Olympic mascot, an animal or human figure representing the cultural heritage of the host country, was introduced in 1968.
Fraternity – братство ancient – древний in honour –в честь chariot racing – бег на колесницах naked –обнаженный forbid –запрещать ban –налагать запрет pagan –языческий alternating –по очереди motto –девиз mascot –талисман heritage –наследство
Answer the questions
1 What does the Olympic idea mean? 2 Why were the Olympic Games so important in the ancient world? 3 When were the first Olympic Games held? 4 Could women take part in the ancient Olympic Games? 5 Who banned the Olympic Games? 6 When were the Olympic Games revived? 7 What kinds of Olympic Games take place nowadays? 8 What is the symbol of the Olympic Games?
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