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A Brief History of the Olympic and Paralympic Games

A Brief History of the Olympic Games

  There are few historical experiences that the world holds in common. Every four years, since 1896, the Olympic Games have brought the countries of the world together in a celebration of the collective human spirit and individual athletic achievement.

  The Modern Olympic Movement, revived in 1892 by French educator and philosopher Baron Pierre de Coubertin, has been the inspiration for extraordinary sports performances, personal excellence and international goodwill for more than a century and continues to work toward building a better and more peaceful world. Through almost 200 National Olympic Committees and more than 50 International Sports Federations, the Olympic Movement promotes its ideals through sport 365 days a year all over the world.

  In 1894, the International Olympic Committee was founded in Paris as an independent body charted to guide the activities of the Olympic Movement and the organization of the Olympic Games while nurturing and sharing Coubertin’s philosophy of peace through sport. Two years later, in Athens, the first Games of the modern era took place, imprinting upon the world’s collective memory a concrete expression of the ethics of sport, culture and peace that marked the ancient Olympic Games.

  During the 20th Century, the modern Olympic Games witnessed progress, global growth and immense change. Against the backdrop of two world wars, periods of economic adversity and prosperity, the Olympic Games and their ideals have exhibited an enduring appeal to all humanity, creating legends and heroes out of athletes once unknown. The Olympic Games have become a global stage for almost every human emotion: triumph, agony, glory and defeat. It is here where the glory of sport and the spirit of international goodwill come together to create the world’s greatest spectacle.


A Brief History of the Paralympic Games

  The Paralympic Movement started in 1948, when a sports competition was organized for persons with a disability during the London Olympic Games. In 1960, two weeks after the Rome Olympic Games, 400 athletes from 23 countries participated in Olympic style games organized for the first time for the disabled in Rome. These were the first Paralympic Games.

  The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games will be the 13th Paralympics.

  The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games will be held about 10 days after the Beijing Olympic Games is over. BOCOG is also the organizing committee for the Beijing Paralympic Games.

  BOCOG will be responsible for the preparations of both the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The venues for the Olympic Games will be adjusted to meet the needs of the Paralympic sports. The level of support and the services provided to Paralympians would be the same as those provided to Olympians.


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