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the ancient olympics
The Ancient Olympics
  • The ancient Olympics grew out of the religious festivals that Greek cities held to honour their gods. Athletic contests, like racing and wrestling, were part of these festivals. As Greece became bigger and more important, the cities started holding a large festival as a sign of unity. They eventually chose a place called Olympia to hold the festival. Every four years, all wars were stopped as the country came together to honour the god Zeus.
  • The games carried on until 393 AD, when the Roman emperor Theodosius II declared that the Games would no longer be held, and the Olympic movement ended.
  • Although the ancient games were staged in Olympia, from 776 BC to 393 AD, it took another 1,503 years for them to return. A Frenchman called Baron Pierre de Coubertin felt that international competition between amateur athletes would help create friendly relationships between people from different countries.
  • He first had his idea in 1894. Coubertin went on to form the International Olympic Committee in 1896.This Committee would keep the amateur spirit of the games alive, and ensure there were no outside influences involved in the decisions of its members.
  • It was first agreed the Games were to be held in Paris in 1900, but delegates were so excited they couldn’t wait that long, and they decided to change the venue to Athens, and the date to 1896. The Olympics returned to the land of it’s birth and was a great success.

What do the Olympic rings signify?According to most accounts, the rings were adopted by Baron Pierre de

Coubertin in 1913 after he saw a similar design on an artefact from

ancient Greece.  The five rings represent the five major regions of the world: Africa, the

Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania. Every national flag in the world includes at

least one of the five colours, which are (from left to right) blue, yellow, black,

green, and red. The colours of the rings were never linked with the different

continentsThe Olympic Flag made its debut at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp,

Belgium. At the end of each Olympic Games, the mayor of that host-city

presents the flag to the mayor of the next host-city. It then rests at the

town hall of the next host-city for four years until the Opening Ceremony of

their Olympic Games.


The Olympic Creed

This Olympic Creed (or "Olympic Message") has appeared on the

scoreboard during Opening Ceremony at every modern Olympic Games.

Baron de Coubertin was inspired to adopt this creed after he heard a

sermon by the Bishop of Pennsylvania, at a service for Olympic

Athletes in 1908.

It reminds us that in our life, just like in the Olympics, winning is not

the most important thing. It is the ultimate challenge for which we all

struggle as we strive to be better.

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but

to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph,

but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to

have fought well."


The Olympic Flame

The tradition of lighting an Olympic Flame comes from the ancient Greeks. During the Ancient Olympic Games, a sacred flame was lit from the sun’s rays at Olympia, and stayed lit until the Games were completed. This flame represented the "endeavour for protection and struggle for victory."

It was first introduced into our Modern Olympics at the 1928 Amsterdam Games. Since then, the flame has come to symbolize "the light of spirit, knowledge, and life.“

The Torch Relay also began in the Ancient Olympics and was revived at the 1936 Berlin Games. Originally, the torch was lit at Olympia in Greece and then carried by relay to the host-city of the games. The last runner carries the torch into the Olympic Stadium during the Opening Ceremony. The flame is then lit from the torch and will remain lit until it is extinguished during the Closing Ceremony. The Torch Relay symbolizes the passing of Olympic traditions from one generation to the next!

the olympic motto
The Olympic Motto
  • "Citius, Altius, Fortius.”
  • Baron de Coubertin borrowed the motto from Father Henri Martin Dideon, the headmaster of Arcueil College in Paris. Father Dideon used the motto to describe the great achievements of the athletes at his school. Coubertin felt it could be used to describe the goals of great athletes all over the world.

Here are some clues:




What do you think this means?


These three words mean

"Swifter, Higher, Stronger."

But what language are they?







but what language are they
But what language are they?


Why is Latin important?

option 1
Option 1
  • Your challenge for European Day of Languages 2011 is to make a poster using the Olympic Motto in as many different European Languages as possible.
interesting facts about the olympiad
Interesting Facts about the Olympiad

Aleksandr Dityatin of the Soviet Union earned

8 Gold medals in gymnastics at the 1980 games

in Moscow.

interesting facts about the olympiad1
Interesting Facts about the Olympiad

Holland's "Fanny" Blankers-Koen won 4 gold

medals in track and field at the 1948 London

Games. Fanny was 30 years old and the mother

of 2 at the time.

interesting facts about the olympiad2
Interesting Facts about the Olympiad

The first Latin American host for the Olympic

games was Mexico City, Mexico in 1968.  

interesting facts about the olympiad3
Interesting Facts about the Olympiad

Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci scored a

perfect 10, seven times at the 1976 games in


interesting facts about the olympiad4
Interesting Facts about the Olympiad

More athletes than spectators attended the

1900 Games in Paris.

interesting facts about the olympiad5
Interesting Facts about the Olympiad

Hungarian Aladar Gerevich won medals in 6

consecutive Olympic games.

interesting facts about the olympiad6
Interesting Facts about the Olympiad

Emil Zatopek of Czechoslovakia is the only man

to win gold medals in the 5000 metres, the

10,000 metres, and the marathon in the same

Olympiad. What an accomplishment!


What do you know about

Usain Bolt?

True or False?

option 2
Option 2
  • Your challenge for European Day of Languages 2011 is to choose a French, Spanish or German speaking athlete and find as many facts about them as you can. Present your findings on a PowerPoint in French!

Your challenge for European Day of Languages 2011 is to make a poster using the Olympic Motto in as many different European Languages as possible.

  • Your challenge for European Day of Languages 2011 is to choose a French, Spanish or German speaking athlete and find as many facts about them as you can. Present your findings on a PowerPoint in French!

Choose One!