Modern Olympics was a revival of the ancient games held every four years at Olympia.

The four year interval is called an Olympiad. The ancient Greeks use Olympiad instead of years when describing dates.

Pierre de Coubertin created the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894.

IOC selects a city or cities to hold the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics. The two Olympics are interlaced.

Drama in the Olympics

Summer Olympics has its share of drama.

The 1936 Summer Olympics was held in Berlin and was attended by Adolf Hitler (who promoted the supremacy of the Aryan race). Jesse Owens, a black athlete from the USA, won four Gold medals : 100m, 200m, 4 x 100m relay, and Long Jump.

The drama occurred in the Long Jump event. Jesse Owens was having some problems in the Long Jump when the German competitor Lang advised him to leave about six inches gap behind the broad to prevent overstepping and getting disqualified. Jesse took the advice, regained his poise and went on to win the Long Jump Gold. It was a mark of true sportsmanship.

1972 Olympics in Munich saw both good and bad.

Mark Spitz (USA) won seven Gold medals in swimming : 100m & 200m Freestyle, 100m & 200m Butterfly, 4 x 100m Freestyle relay, 4 x 200m Freestyle relay, and 4 x 100 Medley relay. He saved energy by not competing in the trials for selected relay events.

Olga Kolburt (USSR) was awarded a couple of Perfect Ten in Gymnastics.

Eleven Israeli athletes were kidnapped (shown live on TV) and murdered by Black September. Mossad took several years to track down and decimate Black September.

USA boycotted the 1980 Olympics held in Moscow.

USSR retaliated with a boycott of the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles.


Some Olympians went on to have illustrious careers.

Johnny Weissmuller, swimming champion, gained fame as Tarzan in the movies.

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion, went on to become Mohammad Ali, three time World Heavyweight Boxing Champion.

Media Coverage

During my SPHS days, there was no television in Burma. I received a ticket from Brother Austin as a prize to see the “1960 Rome Olympics” documentary at Thamada (President) cinema.

I was in the UK and was fortunate to see the 1972 Munich Olympics on a Color television.

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