Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The Olympics Logo Past & Present as well as interesting Facts..

Athen 1896
The first celebration of the modern Olympic Games took place in its ancient birthplace of Athens. The Games attracted athletes from 14 nations, with the largest delegations coming from Greece, Germany, France and Great Britain.

Paris 1900
 The Games of 1900 were held in Paris as part of the World’s Fair. The organisers spread the competitions over five months and under-promoted their Olympic status to such an extent that many athletes never knew they had actually participated in the Olympic Games.

An Englishman travelled all the way from Nice to watch the women’s croquet event, which consisted only of French players. According to the records, his was the only entry ticket sold for the competition! 

St Louis USA 1904

The 1904 Olympic Games were the first at which gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for first, second and third place. Boxing, freestyle wrestling, decathlon and a dumbbells event all made their debuts on the programme. 

London 1908

The 1908 Olympic Games were originally awarded to Rome, but were reassigned to London when it became apparent that Rome would not be ready. Despite the short notice, the Games were exceptionally well organised. For the first time, a stadium was specially prepared for the Games, and swimming events did not take place in the open water.

The Organising Committee fixed the distance of the marathon at 42km and 195m, the last 195 metres being added on to ensure the race finished below the royal box in the London stadium. This distance became official from the 1924 Games onwards.
 Stockholm 1912

The Stockholm Games were a model of efficiency. The Swedish hosts introduced the first Olympic use of automatic timing devices for the track events, the photo finish and a public address system.

For the first time, competitors in the Games came from all five continents. It was also the first time Japan participated. The modern pentathlon, women’s swimming and women’s diving all made their Olympic debuts.

1916 Olympic
The anticipated 1916 Summer Olympics, which were to be officially known as the Games of the VI Olympiad, were to have been held in Berlin, Germany. However, due to the outbreak of World War I, the games were cancelled.
(Resource : Wikipedia)

 Antwerp 1920

The 1920 Games were awarded to Antwerp to honour the suffering that had been inflicted on the Belgian people during the war.  

During the Opening Ceremony, the Olympic flag with the five rings signifying the universality of the Olympic Games was raised for the first time at an Olympic Games. The Olympic oath was taken for the first time by an athlete on behalf of all competitors, and for the first time doves were released as a symbol of peace.

 Paris 1924

The number of participating National Olympic Committees jumped from 29 to 44, signalling the advent of the Olympic Games as a major event with widespread appeal. This newfound popularity was confirmed by the presence of over 1,000 journalists.

These Games introduced the Closing Ceremony ritual as we know it today. This involves the raising of three flags: the flag of the International Olympic Committee, the flag of the host nation and the flag of the next host nation.
Amsterdam 1928

For the first time, a symbolic fire was lit during the Games. The fire was lit in a cauldron that was placed at the top of a tower in the stadium, which had been designed by Jan Wils, a celebrated Dutch architect.

(Olympic First) 
At the Opening Ceremony, the team from Greece led the Parade of Nations, with the host Dutch team marching in last. Greece-first, hosts-last has been Olympic protocol ever since. The number of female competitors more than doubled as women were finally allowed to compete in gymnastics and athletics, and Asian athletes won gold medals for the first time.
Los Angeles USA 1932

The 1932 Olympic Games were held in the middle of the Great Depression and, given the transport links of the time, in the relatively remote region of California. Consequently, participation in the Games was the lowest since 1904, with only half as many athletes taking part as had in 1928. Despite this, the standard of competition was excellent.

(Olympic First)
Between 1900 and 1928, no Summer Games had been shorter than 79 days, but in Los Angeles this was cut to just 16. It has remained between 15 and 18 days ever since. Other firsts included the male athletes being housed in a single Olympic Village (the women stayed in a luxury hotel), and medal winners standing on a podium with the flag of the winner being raised.

Berlin Germany 1936

  (Olympic First)
The 1936 Games were the first to be broadcast on television. Twenty-five television viewing rooms were set up in the Greater Berlin area, allowing the locals to follow the Games free of charge.

1940 & 1944 Olympic 
Officially known as the Games of the XII Olympiad and originally scheduled to be held from September 21 to October 6, 1940, in Tokyo, Japan, were cancelled due to the outbreak of World War II. Tokyo was stripped of its host status for the Games by the IOC after the renunciation by the Japanese of the IOC's Cairo Conference of 1938, due to the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The government of Japan had abandoned its support for the 1940 Games in July 1938.The IOC then awarded the Games to Helsinki, Finland, the runner-up in the original bidding process. The Games were then scheduled to be staged from July 20 to August 4, 1940. The Olympic Games were suspended indefinitely following the outbreak of World War II and did not resume until the London Games of 1948.
(Resource : Wikipedia)

London 1948

The Olympic Games had not been held in either 1940 or 1944 due to World War II, and London was called upon at short notice to host them. Despite shortages of essential products due to rationing, the city rose magnificently to the challenge - a true victory over dark times.

(Olympic First)
The London Games were the first to be shown on home television, although very few people in Great Britain actually owned sets. Starting blocks for athletes in sprint races were introduced for the first time, and the Empire Pool was the first covered Olympic pool to be used at the Games.

Helsinki 1952

Israel and the Soviet Union entered the Olympic Games for the first time, and fears that Cold War rivalries would lead to clashes proved unfounded. Particularly impressive were the Soviet women gymnasts who won the team competition easily, beginning a streak that would continue for 40 years until the Soviet Union broke up into separate republics.

Melbourne 1956

Melbourne won the right to host the 1956 Olympic Games by one vote over Buenos Aires. Australian quarantine laws were too severe to allow the entry of foreign horses, so the equestrian events were held separately in Stockholm in June.

Prior to 1956, the athletes in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies marched in alphabetical order by National Olympic Committees. However, in Melbourne, following a suggestion by a young Australian named John Ian Wing, the athletes entered the stadium together during the Closing Ceremony as a symbol of global unity.

Rome 1960

Rome finally got its chance to stage the Olympic Games, 54 years after Italy had to give up hosting the Games. The Italians made the most of their ancient history, holding the wrestling competition in the Basilica of Maxentius and gymnastics in the Caracalla Baths.
Cassius Marcellus Clay of the US, later known as Muhammad Ali, first gained international prominence by winning the light-heavyweight gold medal. He would later turn professional and embark on a phenomenal career.
Tokyo Japan 1964

(Asia's First Olympic)
The 1964 Tokyo Games were the first to be held in Asia. The carrier of the flame, Yoshinori Sakai, was chosen because he was born on 6 August 1945, the day the atomic bomb exploded in Hiroshima, in homage to the victims and as a call for world peace.

Mexico 1968

(Olympic First)
Mexican hurdler Enriqueta Basilio became the first woman to light the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony. Wyomia Tyus of the US became the first athlete to win the 100m twice. Dick Fosbury won the men’s high jump with a new jumping style now known as the “Fosbury Flop”, and for the first time winners had to undergo a doping test.

Munich 1972

On 5 September, eight Palestinian terrorists broke into the Olympic Village, killing two members of the Israeli team and taking nine hostages. In the ensuing battle, all nine Israeli hostages were killed, as were five of the terrorists and one policeman. In defiance of the terrorists, the IOC ordered the competitions to resume after a pause of 34 hours.

Men’s indoor handball, slalom canoeing and kayaking all made their Olympic debuts. West German Liselott Linsenhoff, competing in the dressage event, became the first female equestrian to win a gold medal, and archery returned to the Olympic programme after a 52-year absence.

Montreal 1976

The 1976 Montreal Games were marred by an African boycott involving 22 countries. The boycott was organised by Tanzania to protest the fact that the New Zealand rugby team had toured apartheid South Africa and that New Zealand was scheduled to compete in the Olympic Games.

Women’s events in basketball, rowing and team handball all made their Olympic debut. Hockey was played on an artificial pitch for the first time, and boxer Clarence Hill of Bermuda earned a bronze medal to give Bermuda the honour of being the least populous nation (53,500) ever to have one of its athletes win a medal at the Summer Games.

Moscow 1980

A US-led boycott reduced the number of participating nations to 80, the lowest number since 1956, as part of a series of measures to protest against the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

(Olympic First)
Aleksandr Dityatin of Russia earned medals in every men's gymnastics event to become the first athlete to win eight medals at one Olympic Games. Super-heavyweight Teófilo Stevenson of Cuba became the first boxer to win the same division three times, and Gerd Wessig of East Germany became the first male high jumper to break the world record at the Olympic Games.

Los Angeles 1984

After the financial problems of 1976, only Los Angeles bid for the right to host the 1984 Olympic Games. The bid was criticised for depending heavily on existing facilities and corporate sponsors. However, the Games produced a healthy profit of USD 223 million and became the model for future Games.

Although a revenge boycott led by the Soviet Union depleted the field in certain sports, 140 National Olympic Committees took part, which was a record at the time. Good feelings prevailed to such an extent that at the Opening Ceremony the athletes broke ranks to join in spontaneous dancing, something usually reserved for the Closing Ceremony.

(Debut & First)
Archer Neroli Fairhall of New Zealand was the first paraplegic athlete to take part in a medal event, competing in a wheelchair. The first Olympic women’s marathon was staged, and was won by Joan Benoit of the US. Rhythmic gymnastics, synchronised swimming and the women’s cycling road race also made their debuts.

Seoul 1988

Archer Neroli Fairhall of New Zealand was the first paraplegic athlete to take part in a medal event, competing in a wheelchair. The first Olympic women’s marathon was staged, and was won by Joan Benoit of the US. Rhythmic gymnastics, synchronised swimming and the women’s cycling road race also made their debuts.

Canadian Ben Johnson set a world record in the 100m sprint, but tested positive for steroids. Johnson was the first world-famous athlete to be disqualified for using drugs. After his disqualification, Carl Lewis was awarded the 100m gold, meaning he had successfully defended his 1984 Olympic title.
(Debuts and firsts)
For the first time, all three medallists in equestrian dressage were women. Swedish fencer Kerstin Palm became the first woman to take part in seven Olympic Games, and table tennis made its Olympic debut. Tennis also returned to the programme after a hiatus of 64 years. The event was open to professionals, and Steffi Graf concluded her Grand Slam tennis season by winning Olympic gold.

Barcelona 1992

For the first time since 1972, the Games were boycott-free, due to important global political changes. Apartheid had been abolished in South Africa. Then there was the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of West and East Germany. Communism had ended and the Soviet Union was divided into 15 separate countries which participated as a "unified team”.

Baseball debuted as a full medal discipline having appeared as an exhibition or demonstration sport at six previous Games. Badminton and women’s judo were also added to the Olympic programme, and Spain’s coxswain in the eights, 11-year-old Carlos Front, became the youngest Olympic competitor since 1900.

In the last lap of the 10,000m final, Derartu Tulu of Ethiopia darted into the lead and went on to win. At the finishing line, she waited for her opponent Elana Meyer, a white South African. They set off hand-in-hand for a victory lap that symbolised hope for a new Africa.

Atlanta 1996

The 1996 Games were given a dramatic and emotional start when the cauldron was lit by sporting legend Muhammad Ali. However, on 27 July tragedy struck when a terrorist bomb exploded in the Centennial Olympic Park. Two people died and a further 110 people were injured.
(Olympic firsts)
For the first time in Olympic history, all 197 recognised National Olympic Committees were represented at the Games. Beach volleyball, mountain biking, lightweight rowing and women's football made their first appearance and sailor Hubert Raudaschl (AUT) became the first person ever to compete in nine Olympic Games.

Sydney 2000

New firsts
Triathlon and taekwondo were two new additions to the Olympic programme. Susanthika Jayasinghe became the first Sri Lankan woman to win a medal, claiming bronze in the 200m, whilst Birgit Fischer earned two gold medals in kayaking to become the first woman in any sport to win medals 20 years apart. Women also took part in weightlifting and the modern pentathlon for the very first time.

Athens 2004

(Biggest Games)
A record 201 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) participated in the Olympic Games. The overall tally for events on the programme was 301 (one more than at the Sydney Games in 2000).
(Most popular)
Popularity in the Games also soared, as 3.9 billion people had access to the television coverage compared to 3.6 billion for Sydney. This global audience enjoyed coverage of never-before seen sports such as women's wrestling, which was included in the programme for the first time.
(Records tumble)
Swimmer Michael Phelps won six gold medals and set a single-Games record with eight total medals. Leontien Ziljaard-van Moorsel became the first female cyclist to earn four career gold medals, reaching a total of six Olympic medals, while canoeist Birgit Fischer became the first athlete in any sport to win two medals in each of five Olympic Games.

Beijing China 2008

Records tumble
Beijing was the Games of records and superlatives. The Opening Ceremony was unforgettable; the athletes’ achievements were astonishing, the organisation was excellent; the venues breathtaking and the anti-doping tests were stricter. Several hundred million watched worldwide on TV as more than 40 world records and over 130 Olympic records were broken.
Modern and ancient
The National Stadium, nick-named the “Bird’s Nest”, and the National Swimming Centre, known as the “Water Cube”, were both stunning symbols of the new Beijing. In cycling, the road race followed the Great Wall and passed in front of the “Forbidden City” - two symbols of the thousand-year-old history of the city.
(First medals)
A record 204 National Olympic Committees took part in the Games. Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Mauritius and Togo all experienced podium finishes for the first time. However Mongolia and Panama managed to go one better with their athletes bringing home their country’s first Olympic gold.

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