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Those Amazing Olympic Games
Did you know women were not allowed to compete in the Olympics until 1900? For more amazing facts, keep reading.
First Olympic Games
The first Olympic Games were held in 776 BCE in Olympia, Greece. They continued until the year 393 CE, when the emperor banned the Games. No Games were held for 1,500 years, until 1894, and they have been held every four years ever since. Today, more than 200 countries compete in the Olympic Summer Games and more than 80 countries take part in the Winter Games.
Famous Olympic Symbols
The symbol for the Olympics is five interlocking rings, which represent the five major regions of the world: Africa, the Americas (North and South America), Asia, Europe, and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, and nearby islands). The rings are black, blue, green, red, and yellow—colours chosen because at least one appears in every country’s flag.
Lighting the Torch
Each Olympics begins with the lighting of the Olympic torch. It is lit in Olympia, Greece, using the Sun and a mirror. Then the flame travels to the host city, usually carried by many different people in a relay. The flame is kept burning until the close of the Olympic Games.
The first official Paralympic Games for people with disabilities were held in 1960. Only athletes in wheelchairs competed in these Games. The 1976 Summer Games were the first games in which athletes with different disabilities competed.
American swimmer Michael Phelps has won more Olympic medals in total, and more Olympic gold medals than any other competitor. He has won 23 gold, 3 silver, and 2 bronze medals.
The youngest Olympic competitor ever was a 10-year-old Greek gymnast. Dimitrios Loundras competed in 1896 and won a bronze medal. The oldest competitor was a Swedish shooter named Oscar Swahn. He was almost 73 when he won a silver medal in 1920.
Only four athletes have won medals at both the Summer and Winter Olympics. These winners include Canadian Clara Hughes, who won medals for speed skating and cycling.
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1. Select the five colours of the Olympic rings.CorrectIncorrect
2. What do the Olympic rings represent?CorrectIncorrect
3. How is the Olympic torch lit?CorrectIncorrect
4. True or false? In the 1976 Summer Games, only athletes in wheelchairs competed in the Games.CorrectIncorrect
5. How many medals has Michael Phelps won in total?CorrectIncorrect
6. What is the age difference between the youngest Olympic competitor ever and the oldest ever?CorrectIncorrect
7. Would you like to attend the Olympic Games? Explain your thinking.
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