History Behind Olympics, Host Countries, Costs

Historical records show the first Olympic Games were traced as far back as 776BC. They were then dedicated to the gods for nearly 12 centuries till Emperor Theodosius decreed in
20 Aug 2016 10:41
History Behind Olympics, Host Countries, Costs

Historical records show the first Olympic Games were traced as far back as 776BC.

They were then dedicated to the gods for nearly 12 centuries till Emperor Theodosius decreed in 393AD that it was to be banned. His view was that it was a pagan cult.

The oldest myth which concerns the beginning of the Olympic Games is that of Idaios Daktylos Herakles.

According to other myths, Zeus, the father of humanity, fought and defeated Cronus in a struggle for the throne of the gods.

Finally, the well-known demigod Herakles is mentioned.

He staged games in Olympia in honour of Zeus, because the latter had helped him conquer Elis when he went to war against Augeas.

Although the ancient Games were staged in Olympia, Greece, from 776 BC through 393 AD, it took 1503 years for the Olympics to return.

The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. The man responsible for its rebirth was a Frenchman named Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who presented the idea in 1894.

His original thought was to unveil the modern Games in 1900 in his native Paris, but delegates from 34 countries were so enthralled with the concept that they convinced him to move the Games up to 1896 and have Athens serve as the first host.


The Olympic motto

The Olympic motto is made up of three Latin words:

Citius – Altius – Fortius. These words mean Faster – Higher – Stronger.

It was the Dominican priest Henri Didon who first expressed the words in the opening ceremony of a school sports event in 1881.

Pierre de Coubertin, who was present that day, adopted them as the Olympic motto.

It expresses the aspirations of the Olympic Movement not only in its athletic and technical sense but also from a moral and educational perspective.

The Olympic symbol consists of five interlaced rings of equal dimensions, used alone, in one or in five different colors, which are, from left to right, blue, yellow, black, green and red.

The Olympic symbol (the Olympic rings) expresses the activity of the Olympic Movement and represents the union of the five continents and the meeting of athletes from throughout the world at the Olympic Games.

The five colors on a white background represented the flags of all the nations at that time.

The Rings appeared for the first time in 1913 at the top of a letter written by Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games. He drew and colored the rings by hand.

The Olympic Games are held every 2 years or 4 years if you are concerned with only the Winter or Summer Games.

For obvious reasons of the 15 sports for Winter or the 41 sports in Summer.


Cost of hosting

The debate on the costs and benefits of hosting the Olympics will remain as long as the Games exist.

However, after much research the answer will never be definite as the models vary and more so the economic value that don’t have a dollar value appropriately attached to it.

The various time frames are used to actually make it a success or failure.

The actual dollars spent on the facilities versus their maintenance and use after the games etcetera.

We won’t try to solve that here either, but the following will give you some sense of the debate.


The benefits

Conclusively, tourism only exists during the games and diminishes as the years after the games increases.

Borrowing for capacity building and operations is better funded by government then individual firms that want to capitalise.

Employment is definitely part time to name a few things that have not dampened country pride of hosting the Games.

Thus, I suppose the plan for hosting is the first part, but the key remains in the second part of what will be of the sports venues and their costs that have been incurred.

Moreso the return on the investment or payback period if you like.

So a sporting nation with better facilities that’s in ruins is one key finding.

Not for Rio, they are looking at turning things around.

The Future arena that hosted the handball, and Paralympic goalball games will be converted into 4 state run schools.

AECOM the American company that built it, had the redesign ready and is just awaiting the closing of the Games. Simply unbolt and move. Well done Brasil or is it easier said than done.

This is an informative publication, sponsored by The Fiji Sun, Fiji Bureau of Statistics and HFC Bank. All views expressed or implied are purely of the Treasurer at the HFC Bank, Peter Fuata.

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