Since the first modern Olympic Games took place in Athens in 1896, the games have been held on every continent apart from Africa. But who knows, perhaps Africa’s turn will come soon. Both Great Britain and Italy have hosted the games three times; for Italy, two of those occasions were the Winter Games.
The last Summer Olympics took place in London in 2012, and now it is the turn of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. It will be the first time that the games have been held in South America. As everybody knows, the games take place every four years. But did you know that they have been cancelled on three occasions because of world wars?
Many Olympic champions are household names, but very few people have heard of Charlotte Cooper. Who was she? No less than the first female Olympic champion! The British tennis player won two Gold Medals in Paris in 1900 and also five singles titles at Wimbledon between 1895 and 1908.
The Olympic Games are probably the biggest sporting event in the world and generate a huge amount of publicity both for athletes and host countries. On the other hand, they are extremely expensive to host and full of complications. Many countries simply cannot afford to run them, even if there is a great deal of sponsorship.
Over their history, the Olympic Games have had many problems, like boycotts for political reasons, doping, bribery, not to mention the fact that at the Munich Games in 1972 a terrorist attack left eleven Israeli Olympic team members dead. Nevertheless, most venues have coped very well and overall the games have been a success story.
Rio de Janeiro, like many others venues before, has some problems to solve. The Zika virus, which is very common in Brazil, is causing concern, and the political situation in the country seems to be rather unstable at present. Let us hope that all goes well and that everyone comes together in a spirit of friendship, which is after all what the Olympic Games are all about.
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