The Olympics originated from the ancient Olympic Games which were held in Olympia, Greece from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. It was held in honor of Zeus the Greek God and were athletic competitions amongst representatives of various city-states of Ancient Greece.
In 1894 Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and since then has become the governing body of the Olympic Movement of what we see in this era. Currently there are 204 countries participating at the London Olympics in 2012.
The Olympic spirit is to foster the unity in diversity through competition and true sportsmanship.
This was recently experienced in the final badminton match between Malaysian national hero Datuk Lee Chong Wei against Lin Dan, where the entire country united and supported a single cause. Although the victory was not in the hands of Chong Wei, it certainly brought the hearts of a multi-cultural nation together. An true example to the embodiment of the Olympic spirit.
An interesting article by The New York Times with an interactive design history of the evolution of the Olympic torch design from 1936 to the present day.
London has hosted the Olympics 3 times since and here is a wonderful Infographic comparing the 1908, 1948 and 2012 London Olympics. (courtesy of airport-parking-quote.co.uk)
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