The modern Olympic Games or Olympics are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating; the Olympic Games are held every four years, with the Summer and Winter Games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart. Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games, which were held in Olympia, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee in 1894, leading to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896; the IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement, with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority. The evolution of the Olympic Movement during the 20th and 21st centuries has resulted in several changes to the Olympic Games; some of these adjustments include the creation of the Winter Olympic Games for snow and ice sports, the Paralympic Games for athletes with a disability, the Youth Olympic Games for athletes aged 14 to 18, the five Continental games, the World Games for sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games.
The Deaflympics and Special Olympics are endorsed by the IOC. The IOC has had to adapt to a variety of economic and technological advancements; the abuse of amateur rules by the Eastern Bloc nations prompted the IOC to shift away from pure amateurism, as envisioned by Coubertin, to allowing participation of professional athletes. The growing importance of mass media created the issue of corporate sponsorship and commercialisation of the Games. World wars led to the cancellation of the 1916, 1940, 1944 Games. Large boycotts during the Cold War limited participation in the 1980 and 1984 Games; the Olympic Movement consists of international sports federations, National Olympic Committees, organising committees for each specific Olympic Games. As the decision-making body, the IOC is responsible for choosing the host city for each Games, organises and funds the Games according to the Olympic Charter; the IOC determines the Olympic programme, consisting of the sports to be contested at the Games. There are several Olympic rituals and symbols, such as the Olympic flag and torch, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.
Over 13,000 athletes compete at the Summer and Winter Olympic Games in 33 different sports and nearly 400 events. The first and third-place finishers in each event receive Olympic medals: gold and bronze, respectively; the Games have grown so much. This growth has created numerous challenges and controversies, including boycotts, bribery, a terrorist attack in 1972; every two years the Olympics and its media exposure provide athletes with the chance to attain national and sometimes international fame. The Games constitute an opportunity for the host city and country to showcase themselves to the world; the Ancient Olympic Games were religious and athletic festivals held every four years at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, Greece. Competition was among representatives of several kingdoms of Ancient Greece; these Games featured athletic but combat sports such as wrestling and the pankration and chariot racing events. It has been written that during the Games, all conflicts among the participating city-states were postponed until the Games were finished.
This cessation of hostilities was known as truce. This idea is a modern myth; the truce did allow those religious pilgrims who were travelling to Olympia to pass through warring territories unmolested because they were protected by Zeus. The origin of the Olympics is shrouded in legend. According to legend, it was Heracles who first called the Games "Olympic" and established the custom of holding them every four years; the myth continues that after Heracles completed his twelve labours, he built the Olympic Stadium as an honour to Zeus. Following its completion, he walked in a straight line for 200 steps and called this distance a "stadion", which became a unit of distance; the most accepted inception date for the Ancient Olympics is 776 BC. The Ancient Games featured running events, a pentathlon, wrestling and equestrian events. Tradition has it that a cook from the city of Elis, was the first Olympic champion; the Olympics were of fundamental religious importance, featuring sporting events alongside ritual sacrifices honouring both Zeus and Pelops, divine hero and mythical king of Olympia.
Pelops was famous for his chariot race with King Oenomaus of Pisatis. The winners of the events were immortalised in poems and statues; the Games were held every four years, this period, known as an Olympiad, was used by Greeks as one of their units of time measurement. The Games were part of a cycle known as the Panhellenic Games, which included the Pythian Games, the Nemean Games, the Isthmian Games; the Olympic Games reached their zenith in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, but gradually declined in importance as the Romans gained power and influence in Gr
Myrtle Alice Cook was a Canadian athlete who competed in the 100 metres. Born in Toronto, she competed for Canada at the 1928 Summer Olympics held in Amsterdam, Netherlands where she won the gold medal in the women's 4 x 100 metres with her team mates 100 m silver medalist Fanny Rosenfeld, 100 m bronze medalist Ethel Smith and Jane Bell. Cook equalled Betty Robinson's Women's 100m World Record on August 1, 1931, she died in Elora, Ontario in 1985. Library and Archives Canada: Myrtle Cook
Catherine Hardy Lavender
Catherine Hardy Lavender was an American athlete who competed in the 100-meter dash. She won an Olympic gold medal in the 4 × 100 metres relay at the 1952 Olympic Summer Games in Helsinki, Finland. Hardy married, had children, a 30-year teaching career in Atlanta schools. Hardy Lavender was born in Carroll County, the third of eight children born to Ernest and Emma Hardy. After graduating from Carroll County Training School at age 16, she wanted to attend Tuskegee Institute, her family was a farming family of limited means, however. Though West Georgia College was only a few miles from Hardy's home in Carrollton, schools were still segregated and as an African-American, Hardy had to look elsewhere to attend college. In college, Hardy enjoyed it. Raymond Pitts, the track coach at Fort Valley, encouraged her to look into track, she agreed, in 1949, she ran and won her first race at the Tuskegee Relays. Two years she won the Amateur Athletic Union indoor meet in New York City, winning the 50-yard dash and setting a new American record.
From 1951-1952, she made All-American. In 1952, Hardy received her B. S. degree in Business Education. After graduation, she trained hard in preparation for the Olympic tryouts. At the AAU, Hardy was a triple winner, winning the 50-yard dash, as well as the 100- and 200-meter races. At the U. S. Olympic tryouts in Harrisburg, Hardy set an American record in the 200-meter run, thus securing a position on the 1952 U. S. Olympic Women's Track Team, she was the only representative of the state of Georgia that year in the Olympics, held in Helsinki, Finland. There, she anchored the 4x100 meter relay, she won the gold medal with Barbara Jones and Janet Moreau. This particular race was an upset, because the Australians and their star, Marjorie Jackson, whom they called "Jet", were favored to win. A poor baton transfer, beat the Australians' chances. Janet Moreau was to serve as the anchor for the team, but when the coach realized that Hardy was the fastest runner on the team, the order was changed. Photographs and video of the race show that the race was quite close, but the US runner Hardy was the one who broke the tape at the finish, edging out Germany, who took the silver medal, Great Britain, who won the bronze medal.
Hardy's time in the 100 meters she ran was faster than the winning time in the 100-meter race at this Olympics. Although Hardy had been slated to compete in that event as well, a poor showing in one of the heats stopped her advancement. Despite this fact and her teammates set a new world record, brought home the gold in this event. Upon returning to the States, Hardy was greeted with a ticker tape parade in her hometown. In 1999 she was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Hardy was offered coaching positions in the northern U. S. but chose to enter her field of study -- education -- in Georgia. There she settled, marrying the late Edward Wright Lavender, Sr. in 1956, bearing two children—a son Edward Lavender, Jr. in 1957, a daughter Stephanie in 1960. Hardy Lavender continued teaching, she retired in 1986 to care for her aged mother. After her mother died in 1987, Hardy Lavender returned to education by substitute teaching in the Atlanta Public Schools system. 2. Olympians Against the Wind: The Black American Female Difference by A. D. Emerson.
3. 1995-1996 Spirit of Legends Calendar of Black History.
Ethel Smith (athlete)
Ethel May Smith was a sprinter from Canada who won a bronze medal in the 100 m at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, Netherlands. At the same games she helped. Smith was born into a poor family and quit school in the eighth grade to work at the Toronto's Garment District, she won the 220 yards at the national championships in 1927 and the 60 yards at the Ontario Championships in 1929. The same year she retired from competitions
Wilma Glodean Rudolph was an African-American sprinter born in Saint Bethlehem, who became a world-record-holding Olympic champion and international sports icon in track and field following her successes in the 1956 and 1960 Olympic Games. Rudolph competed in the 200-meter dash and won a bronze medal in the 4 × 100-meter relay at the 1956 Summer Olympics at Melbourne, Australia, she won three gold medals, in the 100- and 200-meter individual events and the 4 x 100-meter relay at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy. Rudolph was acclaimed the fastest woman in the world in the 1960s and became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games. Due to the worldwide television coverage of the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rudolph became an international star along with other Olympic athletes such as Cassius Clay, Oscar Robertson, Rafer Johnson who competed in Italy; as an Olympic champion in the early 1960s, Rudolph was among the most visible black women in America and abroad.
She became a role model for black and female athletes and her Olympic successes helped elevate women's track and field in the United States. Rudolph is regarded as a civil rights and women's rights pioneer. In 1962 Rudolph retired from competition at the peak of her athletic career as the world record-holder in the 100- and 200-meter individual events and the 4 × 100-meter relay. After competing in the 1960 Summer Olympics, the 1963 graduate of Tennessee State University became an educator and coach. Rudolph and her achievements are memorialized in a variety of tributes, including a U. S. postage stamp, documentary films, a made-for-television movie, as well as in numerous publications books for young readers. She died a sudden death of brain cancer and throat cancer in 1994. Rudolph was born prematurely at 4.5 pounds on June 23, 1940, in Tennessee. She was the twentieth of twenty-two siblings from her father's two marriages. Shortly after Wilma's birth, her family moved to Clarksville, where she grew up and attended elementary and high school.
Her father, Ed, who worked as a railway porter and did odd jobs in Clarksville, died in 1961. Rudolph suffered from several early childhood illnesses, including pneumonia and scarlet fever, contracted infantile paralysis at the age of five, she lost strength in her left leg and foot. Physically disabled for much of her early life, Rudolph wore a leg brace until she was twelve years old; because there was little medical care available to African American residents of Clarksville in the 1940s, Rudolph's parents sought treatment for her at the black Meharry Medical College in Nashville, about 50 miles from Clarksville. For two years and her mother made weekly bus trips to Nashville for treatments to regain the use of her weakened leg, she received subsequent at-home massage treatments four times a day from members of her family and wore an orthopedic shoe for support of her foot for another two years. Because of the treatments she received at Meharry and the daily massages from her family members, Rudolph was able to overcome the debilitating effects of polio and learned to walk without a leg brace or orthopedic shoe for support by the time she was twelve years old.
Rudolph was homeschooled due to the frequent illnesses that caused her to miss kindergarten and first grade. She began attending second grade at Cobb Elementary School in Clarksville in 1947, when she was seven years old. Rudolph attended Clarksville's all-black Burt High School, where she excelled in basketball and track. During her senior year of high school Rudolph became pregnant with her first child, born in 1958, a few weeks prior to her enrollment at Tennessee State University in Nashville. In college Rudolph continued to compete in track, she became a member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Rudolph graduated from Tennessee State with a bachelor's degree in education in 1963. Rudolph's college education was paid for through her participation in a work-study scholarship program that required her to work on the TSU campus for two hours a day. Rudolph was first introduced to organized sports at Burt High School, the center of Clarksville's African American community. After completing several years of medical treatments to regain the use of her left leg, Rudolph chose to follow in her sister Yolanda's footsteps and began playing basketball in the eighth grade.
Rudolph continued to play basketball in high school, where she became a starter on the team, began competing in track. In her sophomore year Rudolph scored 803 points and set a new record for high school girls' basketball. Rudolph's high school coach, C. C. Gray, gave her the nickname of "Skeeter". While playing for her high school basketball team, Rudolph was spotted by Ed Temple, Tennessee State's track and field coach, a major break for the active young athlete; the day that Temple saw the tenth grader for the first time, he knew. Rudolph had gained some track experience on Burt High School's track team two years earlier as a way to keep busy between basketball seasons; as a high school sophomore Rudolph competed at Alabama's Tuskegee Institute in her first major track event. Although she lost the race, Rudolph was determined to win. Temple invited fourteen-year-old Rudolph to join his summer training program at Tennessee State. After attending the track camp, Rudolph won all nine events she entered
The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original
Xenia Stad-de Jong
Xenia Stad-de Jong was a Dutch track and field athlete who competed in sprinting events. Born in Semarang in the former Dutch East Indies, her greatest success was winning the gold medal as the first runner in the 4 x 100 metres relay at the 1948 Summer Olympics, together with Netty Witziers-Timmer, Gerda van der Kade-Koudijs and Fanny Blankers-Koen, she took part in the individual 100 metres event. In 1950, she won another medal with the Dutch relay team when they finished second at the 1950 European Championships, she ran in the individual 100 m at the championships as well. Stad-de Jong died in the Dutch city of Zoetermeer in 2012, aged 90