Hockey Hall of Fame
The Hockey Hall of Fame is an ice hockey museum located in Toronto, Canada. Dedicated to the history of ice hockey, it is a hall of fame, it holds exhibits about players, National Hockey League records, memorabilia and NHL trophies, including the Stanley Cup. Founded in Kingston, the Hockey Hall of Fame was established in 1943 under the leadership of James T. Sutherland; the first class of honoured members was inducted in 1945, before the Hall of Fame had a permanent location. It moved to Toronto in 1958 after the NHL withdrew its support for the International Hockey Hall of Fame in Kingston, Ontario, its first permanent building opened at Exhibition Place in 1961. The hall was relocated in 1993, is now in downtown Toronto, inside Brookfield Place, a historic Bank of Montreal building. An 18-person committee of players and others meets annually in June to select new honourees, who are inducted as players, builders or on-ice officials. In 2010, a subcategory was established for female players; the builders' category includes coaches, general managers, team owners and others who have helped build the game.
Honoured members are inducted into the Hall of Fame in an annual ceremony held at the Hall of Fame building in November, followed by a special "Hockey Hall of Fame Game" between the Toronto Maple Leafs and a visiting team. As of 2018, 280 players, 109 builders and 16 on-ice officials have been inducted into the Hall of Fame; the Hall of Fame has been criticized for focusing on players from the National Hockey League and ignoring players from other North American and international leagues. The Hockey Hall of Fame was established through the efforts of James T. Sutherland, a former President of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. Sutherland sought to establish it in Kingston, Ontario as he believed that the city was the birthplace of hockey. In 1943, the NHL and CAHA reached an agreement. Called the "International Hockey Hall of Fame", its mandate was to honour great hockey players and to raise funds for a permanent location; the first nine "honoured members" were inducted on April 30, 1945, although the Hall of Fame still did not have a permanent home.
The first board of governors consisted of Red Dutton, Art Ross, Frank Sargent, Lester Patrick, Abbie E. H. Coo, Wes McKnight, Basil E. O'Meara, J. P. Fitzgerald and W. A. Hewitt. Kingston lost its most influential advocate as permanent site of the Hockey Hall of Fame when Sutherland died in 1955. By 1958, the Hockey Hall of Fame had still not raised sufficient funds to construct a permanent building in Kingston. Clarence Campbell President of the NHL, grew tired of waiting for the construction to begin and withdrew the NHL's support to situate the hall in Kingston. In the same year, the NHL and the Canadian National Exhibition reached an agreement to establish a new Hall of Fame building in Toronto, in the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame located at Exhibition Place; the temporary Hockey Hall of Fame opened as an exhibit within the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in August 1958, 350,000 people visited it during the 1958 CNE fair. Due to the success of the exhibit, NHL and CNE decided that a permanent home in the Exhibition Place was needed.
The NHL agreed to fund the building of the new facility on the grounds of Exhibition Place, construction began in 1960. The first permanent Hockey Hall of Fame, which shared a building with the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, was opened on August 26, 1961, by Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Over 750,000 people visited the Hall in its inaugural year. Admission to the Hockey Hall of Fame was free until 1980, when the Hockey Hall of Fame facilities underwent expansion. By 1986, the Hall of Fame was running out of room in its existing facilities and the Board of Directors decided that a new home was needed; the Hall vacated the Exhibition Place building in 1992, its half was taken over by the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. (The building was demolished. Development of the new location in the BCE Place complex, featuring the former Bank of Montreal at the corner of Yonge and Front Streets in Toronto, began soon after; the design was by S. George Curry; the new Hockey Hall of Fame opened on June 18, 1993.
The new location has 4,700 m2 of exhibition space, seven times larger. The Hockey Hall of Fame now hosts more than 300,000 visitors each year; the first curator of the new Hall of Fame was Bobby Hewitson. Following Hewitson's retirement in 1967, Lefty Reid was appointed to the position. Reid was curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame for the next 25 years, retiring in 1992. Following Reid's retirement, former NHL referee-in-chief Scotty Morrison, the president of the Hockey Hall of Fame since 1986, was appointed curator. Morrison supervised the relocation of the Hall of its exhibits; the current curator is Phil Pritchard. The Hockey Hall of Fame is led by Lanny McDonald, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Denommé, it is operated as a non-profit business called the "Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum", independent of the National Hockey League. The Hall of Fame was sponsored by the NHL and Hockey Canada and revenue is generated through admissions; the Hockey Hall of Fame has 15 exhibit areas covering 60,000 square feet.
Visitors can view tr
The Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary, Alberta. They are members of the Pacific Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League; the club is the third major-professional ice hockey team to represent the city of Calgary, following the Calgary Tigers and Calgary Cowboys. The Flames are one of two NHL franchises in Alberta; the cities' proximity has led to a rivalry known as the "Battle of Alberta". The team was founded in 1972 in Atlanta as the Atlanta Flames until relocating to Calgary in 1980; the Flames played their first three seasons in Calgary at the Stampede Corral before moving into their current home arena, the Scotiabank Saddledome, in 1983. In 1985–86, the Flames became the first Calgary team since the 1923–24 Tigers to compete for the Stanley Cup. In 1988 -- 89, the Flames won their only championship; the Flames' unexpected run to the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals gave rise to the Red Mile, in 2011 the team hosted and won the second Heritage Classic outdoor game.
The Flames have won two Presidents' Trophies as the NHL's top regular season team, have claimed seven division championships. Individually, Jarome Iginla is the franchise leader in games played and points and is a two-time winner of the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal scorer. Miikka Kiprusoff has the most wins by a goaltender in a Calgary Flames uniform. Nine people associated with the Flames have been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Off the ice, Calgary Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Flames own a Western Hockey League franchise, a National Lacrosse League franchise and a Canadian Football League franchise. Through the Flames Foundation, the team has donated more than CA$32 million to charity throughout southern Alberta since the franchise arrived; the Flames were the result of the NHL's first pre-emptive strike against the upstart World Hockey Association. In December 1971, the NHL hastily granted a team to Long Island—the New York Islanders —to keep the WHA's New York Raiders out of the brand new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Needing another team to balance the schedule, the NHL awarded a team to an Atlanta-based group that owned the National Basketball Association's Atlanta Hawks, headed by prominent local real estate developer Tom Cousins. Cousins named the team the "Flames" after the fire resulting from the March to the Sea in the American Civil War by General William Tecumseh Sherman, in which Atlanta was nearly destroyed, they played home games in the Omni Coliseum in downtown Atlanta. The Flames were successful early on. Under head coaches Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, Fred Creighton and Al MacNeil, the Flames made the playoffs in six of eight seasons in Atlanta. In marked contrast, their expansion cousins, the Islanders, won only 31 games during their first two years in the league combined. However, this relative success did not carry over to the playoffs, as the Flames won only two post-season games during their time in Atlanta. Despite the on-ice success, the Atlanta ownership was never on sound financial footing.
Longtime general manager Cliff Fletcher said years that Cousins' initial financial projections for an NHL team did not account for the WHA entering the picture. The Flames were a poor draw, never signed a major television contract. In 1980, Cousins was in considerable financial difficulty and was forced to sell the Flames to stave off bankruptcy. With few serious offers from local groups, he was receptive to an offer from Canadian entrepreneur Nelson Skalbania, he was fronting a group of Calgary businessmen that included oil magnates Harley Hotchkiss, Ralph T. Scurfield, Norman Green and Byron Seaman, former Calgary Stampeders great Norman Kwong. A last-ditch effort to keep the team in Atlanta fell short, Cousins sold the team to Skalbania for US$16 million, a record sale price for an NHL team at the time. On May 21, 1980, Skalbania announced, he chose to retain the Flames name, feeling it would be a good fit for an oil town like Calgary, while the flaming "A" logo was replaced by a flaming "C".
Skalbania sold his interest in 1981, the Flames have been locally owned since. Unlike the WHA's Calgary Cowboys, who folded three years earlier, the Flames were embraced by the city of Calgary. While the Cowboys could manage to sell only 2,000 season tickets in their final campaign of 1976–77, the Flames sold 10,000 full- and half-season ticket packages in the 7,000 seat Stampede Corral. Led by Kent Nilsson's 49-goal, 131-point season, the Flames qualified for the playoffs in their first season in Calgary with a 39–27–14 record, good for third in the Patrick Division; the team found much greater playoff success in Calgary than it did in Atlanta, winning their first two playoff series over the Chicago Black Hawks and Philadelphia Flyers before bowing out to the Minnesota North Stars in the semi-finals. This early success was not soon repeated. After a losing record in 1981–82, Fletcher jettisoned several holdovers from the Atlanta days who could not adjust to the higher-pressure hockey environment and rebuilt the roster.
Over the next three seasons, he put together a core of players that would remain together through the early 1990s. Fletcher's efforts to match the Oilers led him to draw talent from areas neglected by the NHL; the Flames were among the earliest teams to sign large numbers of U. S. college players, including Joel Otto, Gary Suter and Colin Patterson. Fletcher stepped up the search for European hockey talent, acquiring Hakan Loob and other key players, he was am
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic known as the Russian Soviet Republic and the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic, as well as being unofficially known as the Russian Federation, Soviet Russia, or Russia, was an independent state from 1917 to 1922, afterwards the largest, most populous and most economically developed of the 15 Soviet socialist republics of the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1990 a sovereign part of the Soviet Union with priority of Russian laws over Union-level legislation in 1990 and 1991, during the last two years of the existence of the USSR. The Russian Republic comprised sixteen smaller constituent units of autonomous republics, five autonomous oblasts, ten autonomous okrugs, six krais and forty oblasts. Russians formed the largest ethnic group; the capital of the Russian SFSR was Moscow and the other major urban centers included Leningrad, Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod and Samara. The economy of Russia became industrialized, accounting for about two-thirds of the electricity produced in the USSR.
By 1961, it was the third largest producer of petroleum due to new discoveries in the Volga-Urals region and Siberia, trailing in production to only the United States and Saudi Arabia. In 1974, there were 475 institutes of higher education in the republic providing education in 47 languages to some 23,941,000 students. A network of territorially organized public-health services provided health care. After 1985, the "perestroika" restructuring policies of the Gorbachev administration liberalised the economy, which had become stagnant since the late 1970s under General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, with the introduction of non-state owned enterprises such as cooperatives; the Russian Soviet Republic was proclaimed on 7 November 1917 as a sovereign state and the world's first constitutionally socialist state with the ideology of Communism. The first Constitution was adopted in 1918. In 1922, the Russian SFSR signed the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR setting up of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
The 1977 Soviet Constitution stated that "Union Republic is a sovereign state that has united in the Union" and "each Union Republic shall retain the right to secede from the USSR". On 12 June 1990, the Congress of People's Deputies adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty, established separation of powers, established citizenship of Russia and stated that the RSFSR shall retain the right of free secession from the USSR. On 12 June 1991, Boris Yeltsin, supported by the Democratic Russia pro-reform movement, was elected the first and only President of the RSFSR, a post that would become the presidency of the Russian Federation; the August 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt with the temporary brief internment of President Mikhail Gorbachev destabilised the Soviet Union. On 8 December 1991, the heads of Russia and Belarus signed the Belavezha Accords; the agreement declared dissolution of the USSR by its original founding states and established the Commonwealth of Independent States as a loose confederation.
On 12 December, the agreement was ratified by the Supreme Soviet. On 25 December 1991, following the resignation of Gorbachev as President of the Soviet Union, the Russian SFSR was renamed the Russian Federation, with President Yeltsin re-establishing the sovereign and independent state. With the lowering at 12 midnight of the red flag with hammer and sickle design of the now former USSR from the towers of the Kremlin in Moscow on 26 December 1991, the USSR was self-dissolved by the Soviet of the Republics, which by that time was the only functioning chamber of the parliamentary Supreme Soviet. After dissolution of the USSR, Russia declared that it assumed the rights and obligations of the dissolved central Soviet government, including UN membership and permanent membership on the Security Council, but excluding foreign debt and foreign assets of the USSR; the 1978 RSFSR Constitution was amended several times to reflect the transition to democracy, private property and market economy. The new Russian Constitution, coming into effect on 25 December 1993 after a constitutional crisis abolished the Soviet form of government and replaced it with a semi-presidential system.
Under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky, the Bolshevik communists established the Soviet state on 7 November 1917 after the interim Russian Provisional Government, most led by opposing democratic socialist Alexander Kerensky, which governed the new Russian Republic after the overthrow of the Russian Empire government of the Romanov imperial dynasty of Czar Nicholas II the previous March, was now itself overthrown during the following October Revolution, the second of t
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
1979 World Ice Hockey Championships
The 1979 Ice Hockey World Championships took place at the Palace of Sports of the Central Lenin Stadium in Moscow, Soviet Union from 14 to 27 April. Eight teams took part, with the first round split into two groups of four, the best two from each group advancing to the final group; the four best teams played each other twice in the final round. This was the 46th World Championship and at the 57th European Championship. In the May 1978 congress many rules were aligned with NHL practices and archaic rules were officially abandoned; the games were well attended, setting a record by averaging over eleven thousand spectators per game. The Soviets wished the tournament to be finished before the May Day celebrations began, so the schedule was moved up one week allowing for less NHL players being eligible; the hosts won all seven games they played capturing their 16th title, the only game, close was their early match with West Germany, which they won three to two. The competition for the bronze was tight with Sweden edging out the Canadians.
After the tournament NHL star Marcel Dionne praised the level of play and offered the following criticism of North American play, "only the media can change things here. Tell them how the European teams play with so much talent. Tell them that they play without a fight. Let them realize that if a kid does not know how to skate and shoot, but just to fight, he should not be allowed to be a hockey player. There are so many idiots. Tell them."Promotion and relegation was effective for 1981 as the IIHF ceased running a championship in Olympic years. Nations that did not participate in the Lake Placid Olympics were invited to compete in the inaugural Thayer Tutt Trophy. Results between countries that moved on to the same group in the second round were carried forward. Played in Galati March 16–24; this year's tournament was expanded to ten teams to try to avoid hostilities between China and South Korea. China and Denmark were both elevated with the consequence; the ten teams were split into groups of five, the top two of each battled for promotion to Group A, the next two played in a group to decide fifth through eighth, both bottom place teams were relegated without playing further.
Additionally, the top two in each group joined all Group A teams at the Lake Placid Olympics. Hungary was relegated to Group C. China was relegated to Group C; the Netherlands were promoted to Group A. Both Austria and Denmark were relegated to Group C. Played in Barcelona March 16–25; this tournament was supposed to be played in China but the Chinese said that they would deny entrance to the South Korean team. To avoid political issues with the two playing each other, both China and Denmark were elevated to Group B and two extra nations were allowed to participate in Group C. Both Yugoslavia and Italy were promoted to Group B; the final standings of the tournament according to IIHF: The final standings of the European championships according to IIHF: Complete results Podnieks, Andrew. IIHF Media Guide & Record Book 2011. Moydart Press. Pp. 147–8
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
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