The Modern Olympic Games
Sophie (age 7) and Ellie (age 5) tell the history of the modern Olympic Games. After last weeks episode on the Ancient Olympic games the girls want to bring the story up to date.----more----
Greece was conquered and the Olympics seemed forgotten for 1,500 years. However, after Greece fought and won her freedom again, people wanted to remember all the amazing things that the Greeks had done. This was science and maths, myths and legends. It was also the Olympic games.
A Frenchman called Pierre Coubertin loved that in Britain they were doing lots of sports in schools and writing many rules for sports. He also loved Ancient Greece. He had the idea to bring back the Olympic Games but instead make them for the whole world. He organized the first modern Olympic Games in Athens. Like the ancient games he decided to have them every four years. However, differently to the ancient Olympic games, he decided to have them in a different city every time.
The first challenge was to decide on the sports. They decided not to have the old fashioned ancient Olympic Sports like chariot racing. Instead they would have modern sports that people play nowadays.
The games were a great success and got bigger and bigger. They even brought back some of the old traditions. For example, they light a flame at Olympia just like in the Ancient Olympic Games. They take the flame on torch to the host city and the flame burns all through the Olympics.
However, some traditions have sadly not come back. In the ancient Olympic games all wars stopped during the games. In the World Wars the OIympics stopped, not the wars.
One of the most famous games was in 1936 in Germany. Hitler was the leader of Germany and it was when the Nazis were in charge. He was a very evil man. He thought that the Germans were better than anyone else, especially Jews and Black people. However, Jesse Owens, an American, came to the games. He was black. He won every race by miles that he was in. Hitler’s stupid ideas about who was best were proved completely wrong.
They also realized that they needed to make different types of Olympic Games. They wanted to do skiing. However, that meant they needed a cold place! So they made a second Olympic Games called the Winter games. They have this every four years too but in a cold country in the mountains.
After World War Two they had the Olympic Games in London. There were many injured soldiers in the war. So a special competition was organized for them so they could compete fairly. Over time this grew to be a third Olympic Games called the Paralympics.
Finally at the end we talk about how every Olympian started as a child with a dream. A child who wasn’t good at a sport. But one who wanted to try their best. Perhaps there is a future Olympian listening to this story.
PUFFIN PODCAST: MISSION IMAGINATION
We talk about the new Puffin Podcast, Mission Imagination, in this podcast. It just started and our girls really enjoyed it. They didn’t pay us any money to tell you about it. We would love to share any other podcasts that you like. They have an activity pack too which is here:
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