The once-in-four-years moment is here! The Summer Olympics is a spectacle for every sports enthusiast; this is officially the Disneyland of sports. Every sportsperson harbours two dreams: one, of being No.1 in the world and two, of winning an Olympic Gold. The Olympic medal is what most sportspersons train all their lives for!
Considered as the foremost sporting event in the world, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating, but occurring every four years. Inspired by the ancient Games held in Greece, the Olympics have continued to promote sports in the best way possible.
What a King is to a kingdom or a President to a country, the Olympics is to sport. A pinnacle of sport, the Olympics signifies glory, talent, hard work, dedication, commitment and discipline. An Olympian is considered as one of the greatest because winning that medal is no mean feat.
The grandeur, competitive spirit, records, history, pride, glory that this event brings is unparalleled. There is perhaps, no other sporting event in the world that can do what the Olympics can do! Nations become sporting greats and the winners, legends. The Olympics is where success stories are born and destinies changed. Our very own, Leander Paes, one of the greatest tennis players in India, made us proud by winning the Bronze medal in men’s singles in 1996 (Atlanta). This is going to be his 7th Olympic Games, a record in itself. He represents India in Men’s doubles along with Rohan Bopanna.
Founded by Pierre de Coubertin in 1894 to organize and promote Olympic Games throughout the world, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is the governing body of the Games. The IOC, its headquarters at Lausanne, Switzerland, welcomes you with a symbol of the five interlocking rings known as the ‘Olympic rings’. These rings are a representative of the flags of various countries that took part in the games at that time. They include the blue and yellow of Sweden, the blue and white of Greece, the tri-colors of France, England, America, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and Hungary, and the yellow and red of Spain. This symbol has ever since become the popular representation of the Olympics.
In the words of Mr. Pierre Coubertin, the creator of the flag, “The Olympic flag … has a white background, with five interlaced rings in the centre: blue, yellow, black, green and red … This design is symbolic; the five colors are those that appear on at least one of all the national flags of the world at the present time united by Olympism”.
Another very popular tradition of the Olympics is the passing of the Olympic torch. In the months leading up to the Games, the Olympic Flame is lit on a torch and taken out of Greece to the host country. The Torch is carried by various famous personalities around the world before it finally reaches the stadium, where once it is lit, it marks the beginning of the Olympic Games. Our very own superstar of Bollywood, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan too carried the Olympic torch at the London Games held in 2012.
Held at a different venue every time, the Games help improve tourism and popularity of the host cities, but at the same time it requires a lot of investment by the host country. The International Olympic Committee elects the host city after an elaborate process of selection and consideration. The Committee chooses the host city at least seven years prior to the Games. The host city for the 2020 Games has already been decided with Tokyo winning the bid!
The 2016 Olympics, popularly known as Rio 2016, commences today and goes on till August 21. Held in the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Games have generated a lot of excitement and anticipation. This time too, it’s no different. I am eagerly looking forward to it. With 41 sports and about 200 nations participating, there is a lot to look forward to. I am especially eager to see how Rio manages to host the Games considering the various controversies and issues the city has been embroiled in, in the recent past.
So let’s get ready for some Olympic action and watch the sporting world at its finest!