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How did the Olympic Games start? In ancient Greece, athletic festivals were very important and have strong religious associations. Originally, the festival was held in honor of Zeus, the supreme God in Greek mythology. Eventually, the Olympian athletic festival had lost its local and national characters and became an international event. No one knows exactly how far back the Olympic Games go, but some scholars recorded date from 776 BC. According to some scholars, at first, the only Olympic event was 200-yard dash, called a stadium and that was the only event until 724BC. After that, other field events were added and 16 years later in 708BC, the pentathlon was added and wrestling became part of the Games. This Pentathlon was a five-event match, which consisted of running, wrestling, leaping, throwing the discus and hurling the javelin.

The Games were held every four years and after an uninterrupted history of 1170 years, the Games were abolished in AD394, the Christen era, because of the pagan origin. It was over 1500 years before there was another such international athletic gathering.

In 1896, the first of the modern summer games opened in Athens, Greece. Nowadays the Games are held in different countries in turn. The host country provides vast facilities, such as stadiums and living accommodation. Many more sports are represented, including the very celebrated event, the marathon races. The Olympics start with the arrival in the stadium of a torch , lighted on Mount Olympics by the sun’s rays. The torch is carried by a succession of runners to the stadium. The Olympic flam symbolizes the continuation of the ancient Greek athletic ideals and it burns throughout the Games until the closing ceremony. The well-known Olympic flag, however, is a modern conception. The five interlocking rings symbolize the uniting of all five continents, participating in the Games.