Pan American Games
The Pan American Games is a major sporting event in the Americas featuring summer sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The competition is held among athletes from nations of the Americas, every four years in the year before the Summer Olympic Games; the only Winter Pan American Games were held in 1990. And from 2021, there would be a Junior Pan American Games for young athletes; the Pan American Sports Organization is the governing body of the Pan American Games movement, whose structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter. The XVII Pan American Games were held in Toronto from July 10–26, 2015. Since 2007, host cities are contracted to manage both the Pan American and the Parapan American Games, in which athletes with physical disabilities compete with one another; the Parapan American Games are held following the Pan American Games. The Pan American Games Movement consists of international sports federations, National Olympic Committees that are recognized by PASO, organizing committees for each specific Pan American Games.
As the decision-making body, PASO is responsible for choosing the host city for each Pan American Games. The host city is responsible for organizing and funding a celebration of the Games consistent with the Olympic Charter and rules; the Pan American Games program, consisting of the sports to be contested at the Games, is determined by PASO. The celebration of the Games encompasses many rituals and symbols, such as the flag and torch, the opening and closing ceremonies. Over 5,000 athletes compete at the Pan American Games in nearly 400 events; the first and third-place finishers in each event receive gold and bronze medals, respectively. The idea of holding a Pan American Games was first raised at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where Latin American representatives of the International Olympic Committee suggested that a competition among all the countries in the Americas should be created; the first event called the Pan American Games took place in Dallas in 1937 as part of the Greater Texas & Pan-American Exposition, but it attracted so little attention it has never counted in the records of the competition.
At the first Pan American Sports Congress, held in Buenos Aires in 1940, the participants decided that the first games should be held in Buenos Aires in 1942. The plans had to be postponed because of World War II. A second Pan American Sports Congress held in London during the 1948 Summer Olympics reconfirmed Buenos Aires as the choice of host city for the inaugural games, which were held in 1951; the games offered 18 sports. Countries that were part of the Commonwealth of Nations such as Canada did not compete at the first Pan American Games; the second games were held in Mexico. Competitions started on March 12 and included 2,583 athletes from 22 countries, competing in 17 sports; the Pan American Games have been held subsequently every four years. While the inaugural 1951 Games hosted 2,513 participants representing 14 nations, the most recent 2015 Pan American Games involved 6,132 competitors from 41countries. During the games most athletes and officials are housed in the Pan American Games village.
This village is intended to be a self-contained home for all the participants. It is furnished with cafeterias, health clinics, locations for religious expression. PASO allows nations to compete that do not meet the strict requirements for political sovereignty that other international organizations demand; as a result and dependencies are permitted to set up their own National Olympic Committees. Examples of this include territories such as Puerto Rico and Bermuda which compete as separate nations despite being under the jurisdiction of another power. There have been attempts to hold Winter Pan American Games throughout the history of the games, but these have had little success. An initial attempt to hold winter events was made by the organizers of the 1951 Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, who planned to stage winter events in the year but dropped the idea due to lack of interest. Reliable winter snow in the Americas is limited to the United States and Canada. Andean winter weather is fickle, higher elevation areas in South America with annual snow lack the infrastructure to host major sporting events.
Another difficulty is that the Americas cover two hemispheres, which creates scheduling issues related to reverse seasons. Lake Placid, New York tried to organize Winter Games in 1959 but, not enough countries expressed interest; the plans were cancelled. In 1988, members of PASO voted to hold the first Pan American Winter Games at Las Leñas, Argentina in September 1989, it was further agreed. Lack of snow however, forced the postponement of the games until September 16–22, 1990 when only eight countries sent 97 athletes to Las Leñas. Of that total, 76 were from just three countries: Argentina and the United States. Weather was unseasonably warm and again there was little snow, so only three Alpine Skiing events – the Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G were staged; the United States and Canada won all 18 medals. PASO awarded the second Pan American Winter Games to Santiago, Chile for 1993; the United States warned. The Santiago organizing committee gave up on planning the Games after the United States Olympic Committee declined to participate, the idea has not been revived since.
On 16 January 2019 PASO announced the creation of the Juni
Italy at the Olympics
Italy has competed at all the modern Olympic GamesItaly has taken part in all the Winter Olympic Games, winning 124 medals, 577 medals at the Summer Olympic Games. Italy has won a total of 246 gold medals which makes them the 6th most successful country in Olympic history, after the USA, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and France. Italy has the sixth highest medal total of all time with 701; the Italian National Olympic Committee was created in 1908 and recognised in 1913. The Italian Olympic Team has competed in the Mediterranean Games where they have won a total of 1,786 medals, the most in the games' history; as of 2016 they are the most successful nation at fencing in Olympic history. Italy has hosted the Games on three occasions. Italy has finished in the top 5 of the medal count 11 times in the Summer Olympic Games and 3 times in the Winter Olympic Games. In total Italy has finished in the top 5 of the medal count 14 times. Italy has finished in the top 10 of the medal count 20 times in the Summer Olympic Games and 13 times in the Winter Olympic Games.
In total Italy has finished in the top 10 of the medal count 33 times. According to the official count of the International Olympic Committee, Italy has won 577 medals at Summer Olympics. *Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil. Notes: in pink color the women athletes; the Italian athlete who won the most medals in the history of the Olympic Games, is the fencer Edoardo Mangiarotti. In this table, the men who have won gold individual medals at the Olympics. Notes: in Khaki the athletes still in activity. For Cycling was considered for world championships, only professional events. In this table, the women who have won gold individual medals at the Olympics and at the World Championships. Updated to 22 February 2018. List of flag bearers for Italy at the Olympics Category:Olympic competitors for Italy Italy at the Paralympics Italy national athletics team Naturalized athletes of Italy a b Not counting Enrico Brusoni gold medal at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Cycling Points Race, this medal is not recognized by IOC, but is recognized by Italian National Olympic Committee.
"Italy". International Olympic Committee. "Results and Medalists — Italy". Olympic.org. International Olympic Committee. "Olympic Medal Winners". International Olympic Committee. "Italy". Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 29 April 2012
World Taekwondo, called the World Taekwondo Federation until June 2017, is the international federation governing the sport of taekwondo and is a member of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations. The body was renamed in June 2017 to avoid the "negative connotations" of the used initials WTF. World Taekwondo was established on May 28, 1973 at its inaugural meeting held at the Kukkiwon with participation of 35 representatives from around the world. There are now 208 member nations. Since 2004, Choue Chung-won has been the president of World Taekwondo, succeeding the first president, Kim Un-yong. On July 17, 1980 the International Olympic Committee recognized World Taekwondo at its 83rd Session in Moscow, Soviet Union. First, Taekwondo was adopted as a demonstration sport of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. According to World Taekwondo, Taekwondo is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts, that teaches more than physical fighting skills.
It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing our spirit and life through training our body and mind. Today, it has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation, stands among the official games in the Olympics; the main constituents of World Taekwondo are the following: The General Assembly. In addition to its main constituents World Taekwondo encompasses other organizations that have been duly authorized or recognized by the Council and the GA and that operate under the auspices of World Taekwondo. World Taekwondo-recognized or authorized organizations include but are not limited to the Continental Unions; the General Assembly is the general meeting of the Council and representatives of MNAs of World Taekwondo. The GA is World Taekwondo’s supreme decision making organ, its decisions are final, whereas the Council consists of the President, the Vice Presidents, the Secretary General, the Treasurer and the Council members. Responsibilities of the Council are for example planning and management of World Taekwondo organization and operations and the control over the financial budget and financial reports.
The President is elected by the GA from among its members for a term of four years. The President must represent World Taekwondo. Furthermore, the President appoints the members of World Taekwondo Committees. Lastly, the Secretariat of World Taekwondo is installed at the location of World Taekwondo headquarters for the execution of the secretarial affairs and duties of the President and the Secretary General. World Taekwondo was established on May 28, 1973 at the inaugural meeting held at the Kukkiwon with participation of 35 representatives from the world after it separated from the International Taekwon-Do Federation because of political reasons. At that time, Un Yong Kim was elected president for a four-year term. One of the main Constituents of World Taekwondo, the Secretariat was formed on June 3, 1973 and began operating. On October 8, 1974 World Taekwondo was affiliated to the General Association of International Sports Federations, now SportAccord; until the 1980s, the European, the Asian, the Pan American and the African Taekwondo Unions inaugural meetings were held, while Oceania’s Taekwondo Union was not recognized as the 5th Continental Union of World Taekwondo until July 16, 2005.
The recognition of the IOC towards World Taekwondo at its 83rd session in Moscow on July 17, 1980 was the cornerstone for their Cooperation. Thereupon Taekwondo participated in the 24th Olympic Games at Changchung Gymnasium in Seoul, Korea as well as the 25th Olympic Games at the Palau Blaugrana in Barcelona, Spain as a demonstration sport. In recognition of his contribution to the Olympic Movement Un Yong Kim was awarded the Order of Commander by Prince Rainier of Monaco on September 21, 1993. Moreover, Taekwondo was adopted as an official sport of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at the 103rd IOC session in Paris, France on September 4, 1994. Half a year on February 15, 1995 World Taekwondo was affiliated to the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations as a provisional member. After the first appearance of Taekwondo as an Olympic Sport in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the IOC executive board confirms Taekwondo as an Olympic Sport for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games on December 11–13, 2000.
Furthermore, the inclusion of taekwondo in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games was confirmed on November 29, 2002 at the 114th IOC session held in Mexico City. On February 15, 2004 the Vice President Sun Jae Park was elected as Acting President of World Taekwondo due to the resignation of the founding President Un Yong Kim from the presidency of World Taekwondo. Four month Chung Won Choue was elected as new President of World Taekwondo at the extraordinary General Assembly on June 11, 2004. Taekwondo was confirmed as program of the 2012 London Olympic Games on July 8, 2005; the mission of World Taekwondo is to provide effective international governance of Taekwondo as an Olympic sport and Paralympic sport. The envisioned objectives of World Taekwondo are to promote and improve worldwide the practice of taekwondo in light of its educational and sports values and to promote fair play, youth development, education
2012 Summer Olympics
The 2012 Summer Olympics, formally the Games of the XXX Olympiad and known as London 2012, was an international multi-sport event, held from 27 July to 12 August 2012 in London, United Kingdom. The first event, the group stage in women's football, began on 25 July at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, followed by the opening ceremonies on 27 July. 10,768 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees participated. Following a bid headed by former Olympic champion Sebastian Coe and then-Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, London was selected as the host city on 6 July 2005 during the 117th IOC Session in Singapore, defeating bids from Moscow, New York City and Paris. London became the first city to host the modern Olympics three times, having hosted the Summer Games in 1908 and in 1948. Construction for the Games involved considerable redevelopment, with an emphasis on sustainability; the main focus was a new 200-hectare Olympic Park, constructed on a former industrial site at Stratford, East London.
The Games made use of venues that existed before the bid. The Games received widespread acclaim for their organisation, with the volunteers, the British military and public enthusiasm praised highly; the opening ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, received widespread acclaim throughout the world, particular praise from the British public and a minority of ranging criticisms from some social media sites. During the Games, Michael Phelps became the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, winning his 22nd medal. Saudi Arabia and Brunei entered female athletes for the first time, so that every eligible country has sent a female competitor to at least one Olympic Games. Women's boxing was included for the first time, thus the Games became the first at which every sport had female competitors; these were the final Olympic Games under the IOC presidency of Jacques Rogge. The final medal tally was led by the United States, followed by China and host Great Britain. Several world and Olympic records were set at the games.
Though there were several controversies, the 2012 games were deemed successful with the rising standards of competition amongst nations across the world, packed stadiums and smooth organisation. Furthermore, the focus on sporting legacy and post-games venue sustainability was seen as a blueprint for future Olympics. By 15 July 2003, the deadline for interested cities to submit bids to the International Olympic Committee, nine cities had submitted bids to host the 2012 Summer Olympics: Havana, Leipzig, Madrid, New York City and Rio de Janeiro. On 18 May 2004, as a result of a scored technical evaluation, the IOC reduced the number of cities to five: London, Moscow, New York and Paris. All five submitted their candidate files by 19 November 2004 and were visited by the IOC inspection team during February and March 2005; the Paris bid suffered two setbacks during the IOC inspection visit: a number of strikes and demonstrations coinciding with the visits, a report that a key member of the bid team, Guy Drut, would face charges over alleged corrupt party political finances.
Throughout the process, Paris was seen as the favourite as this was its third bid in recent years. London was seen as lagging behind Paris by a considerable margin, its position began to improve after the appointment of Lord Coe as the new head of London 2012 on 19 May 2004. In late August 2004, reports predicted a tie between Paris. On 6 June 2005, the IOC released its evaluation reports for the five candidate cities, they did not contain any scores or rankings, but the report for Paris was considered the most positive. London was close behind, having closed most of the gap observed by the initial evaluation in 2004. New York and Madrid received positive evaluations. On 1 July 2005, when asked who would win, Jacques Rogge said, "I cannot predict it since I don't know how the IOC members will vote, but my gut feeling tells me that it will be close. It will come down to a difference of say ten votes, or maybe less."On 6 July 2005, the final selection was announced at the 117th IOC Session in Singapore.
Moscow was the first city to be eliminated, followed by New Madrid. The final two contenders were Paris. At the end of the fourth round of voting, London won the right to host the 2012 Games with 54 votes to 50. Tragically, the celebrations in London were short-lived, being overshadowed by bombings on London's transport system less than 24 hours after the announcement; the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games was created to oversee the staging of the Games after the success of the bid, held its first board meeting on 3 October 2005. The committee, chaired by Lord Coe, was in charge of implementing and staging the Games, while the Olympic Delivery Authority was in charge of the construction of the venues and infrastructure; the latter was established in April 2006. The Government Olympic Executive, a unit within the Department for Culture and Sport, was the lead government body for coordinating the London 2012 Olympics, it focused on oversight of the Games, cross-programme programme management and the London 2012 Olympic Legacy before and after the Games that would benefit London and the United Kingdom.
The organisation was responsible for the supervision of the £9.3 billion of public sector funding. In August 2011, security concerns arose surrounding the hosting of the Olympic Games in London due to the 2011 England riots, with a few countries expressing fear over the safety of the Games, in spite of the International Olympic Committee's assurance that the riots would not affect the Games; the IOC's Coordination Commission for the 2
Seoul the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. With surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province, Seoul forms the heart of the Seoul Capital Area. Seoul is ranked as the fourth largest metropolitan economy in the world and is larger than London and Paris. Strategically situated on the Han River, Seoul's history stretches back over two thousand years, when it was founded in 18 BCE by the people of Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea; the city was designated the capital of Korea under the Joseon dynasty. Seoul is surrounded by a mountainous and hilly landscape, with Bukhan Mountain located on the northern edge of the city; as with its long history, the Seoul Capital Area contains five UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeok Palace, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. More Seoul has been a major site of modern architectural construction – major modern landmarks include the N Seoul Tower, the 63 Building, the Lotte World Tower, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Lotte World, Trade Tower, COEX, the IFC Seoul.
Seoul was named the 2010 World Design Capital. As the birthplace of K-pop and the Korean Wave, Seoul received over 10 million international visitors in 2014, making it the world's 9th most visited city and 4th largest earner in tourism. Today, Seoul is considered a leading and rising global city, resulting from the South Korean economic boom - referred to as the Miracle on the Han River - which transformed it into the world's 7th largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US$635.4 billion in 2014 after Tokyo, New York City and Los Angeles. International visitors reach Seoul via AREX from the Incheon International Airport, notable for having been rated the best airport for nine consecutive years by the Airports Council International. In 2015, it was rated Asia's most livable city with the second highest quality of life globally by Arcadis, with the GDP per capita in Seoul being $39,786. Inhabitants of Seoul are faced with a high cost of living, for which the city was ranked 6th globally in 2017.
Seoul is an expensive real estate market, ranked 5th in the world for the price of apartments in the downtown center. With major technology hubs centered in Gangnam and Digital Media City, the Seoul Capital Area is home to the headquarters of 15 Fortune Global 500 companies, including Samsung, LG, Hyundai. Ranked sixth in the Global Power City Index and Global Financial Centres Index, the metropolis exerts a major influence in global affairs as one of the five leading hosts of global conferences. Seoul has hosted the 1986 Asian Games, 1988 Summer Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup, more the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit; the city has been known in the past by the names Wiryeseong, Hanseong, Keijō. During Japan's annexation of Korea, "Hanseong" was renamed "Keijō" by the Imperial authorities to prevent confusion with the hanja'漢', which refers to Han people or the Han dynasty and in Japanese is a term for "China", its current name originated from the Korean word meaning "capital city", believed to have descended from an ancient word, which referred to Gyeongju, the capital of Silla.
Ancient Gyeongju was known in documents by the Chinese-style name Geumseong, but it is unclear whether the native Korean-style name Seorabeol had the same meaning as Geumseong. Unlike most place names in Korea, "Seoul" has no corresponding hanja. On January 18, 2005, the Seoul government changed its official Chinese name from the historic Hancheng, still in common use, to Shou'er. Settlement of the Han River area, where present-day Seoul is located, began around 4000 BCE. Seoul is first recorded as the capital of Baekje in the northeastern Seoul area. There are several city walls remaining in the area. Pungnaptoseong, an earthen wall located southeast Seoul, is believed to have been at the main Wiryeseong site; as the Three Kingdoms competed for this strategic region, control passed from Baekje to Goguryeo in the 5th century, from Goguryeo to Silla in the 6th century. In the 11th century Goryeo, which succeeded Unified Silla, built a summer palace in Seoul, referred to as the "Southern Capital".
It was only from this period. When Joseon replaced Goryeo, the capital was moved to Seoul, where it remained until the fall of the dynasty; the Gyeongbok Palace, built in the 14th century, served as the royal residence until 1592. The other large palace, constructed in 1405, served as the main royal palace from 1611 to 1872. After Joseon changed her name to the Korean Empire in 1897, Hwangseong designated Seoul; the city was surrounded by a massive circular stone wall to provide its citizens security from wild animals and attacks. The city has grown beyond those walls and although the wall no longer stands, the gates remain near the downtown district of Seoul, including most notably Sungnyemun and Heunginjimun (commonly known as Dong
Great Britain at the Olympics
Athletes from the United Kingdom, all but three of its overseas territories, the three Crown dependencies, compete in the Olympic Games as part of the team Great Britain or Team GB. It has sent athletes to every Summer and Winter Games, along with France and Switzerland, since the start of the Olympics' modern era in 1896, including the 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics, which were boycotted by a number of other nations on each occasion. From 1896 to 2018 inclusive, Great Britain has won 851 medals at the Summer Olympic Games, another 32 at the Winter Olympic Games, it is the only national team to have won at least one Gold Medal at every Summer Games, lying third globally in the winning of total medals, surpassed only by the United States and the former Soviet Union, fourth behind Germany when considering gold medal totals. It is organised by the British Olympic Association as the National Olympic Committee for the UK. While the International Olympic Committee and BOA both refer to the team as'Great Britain' and the team uses the brand name Team GB, the BOA explains that it is a contraction of the full title, the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic Team.
Great Britain was one of 14 teams to compete in the first Games, the 1896 Summer Olympics in Athens, is one of only three nations to have competed at every Summer and Winter Olympic Games. The most successful British Olympians by gold medals won are Sir Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny, who have won six gold medals each in track cycling. Sailor Sir Ben Ainslie jointly holds the Great Britain record for most individual Olympic gold medals with Chris Hoy and Sir Mo Farah with four, the most gold medals in a single event with three gold medals - again shared with Jason Kenny, Steve Redgrave and Ed Clancy. Sir Chris Hoy holds the record for gold medals in different events, having reached the top step in four different disciplines – men's kilo, men's team sprint, men's match sprint and men's kierin. Cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins has the most overall medals by a British Olympian with eight. Sir Steve Redgrave is the only British Olympian to win a gold medal in five consecutive Olympic Games, winning his first in 1984 Los Angeles and last in 2000 Sydney.
With five golds and a bronze, Redgrave is the most successful Olympic male rower of all time. The most successful female Olympian for GB is cyclist Laura Trott, who has four gold medals, while the most decorated female Olympians are Katherine Grainger and Kathleen McKane Godfree, with five medals each - one gold and four silver for Grainger, a gold, two silver and two bronze for McKane Godfree. Alongside five time gold medalist Redgrave, Ainslie and Jack Beresford are the only British Olympians to win medals of any colour in five successive Games. In 1908, the country finished in the Olympic table in first place for the first and only time in its history. Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny are jointly the most successful cyclists in Olympic history and Ben Ainslie, with four golds at consecutive Games and a silver medal, is the most successful sailor in Olympic history. Great Britain has hosted the Summer Games on three occasions – 1908, 1948 and 2012, all in London – second only to the United States.
At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Great Britain became the first country to win more medals at a Summer Olympics after hosting a Summer Olympics. This success came 20 years after finishing 36th in the medal table, after winning just one gold and fourteen other medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, which led to significant changes into the management and funding of British sports and facilities. At the Winter Olympics as a non-alpine nation Great Britain has been unable to replicate the amount of success they have achieved in the Summer Olympics although in recent years with the expansion of the Winter Olympics to include sports such as Curling, Snowboarding and Freestyle skiing has brought some increased success. Great Britain is the most successful nation in women's skeleton, having won a medal six times, at least one for each time the event has been held, including a gold medal for Amy Williams in 2010, the same for Lizzy Yarnold in 2014 and 2018. Great Britain enjoyed a period of significant success between 1976 and 1984 in figure skating, winning golds in three successive games on the rink.
Prior to the 2014 Games all Britain's Winter Olympic medals had been won in sports performed on ice. Snowboarder Jenny Jones became the first British athlete to win a medal on snow in the 90 years of the winter games when she won a bronze medal in the women's slopestyle event. At the 2018 Games, Izzy Atkin won Britain's first skiing medal, winning a bronze in the women's ski slopestyle; the most successful Winter Olympian from Great Britain is Lizzy Yarnold, with two gold medals in the women’s skeleton. As the National Olympic Committee for the United Kingdom, the British Olympic Association membership encompasses the four Home Nations of the United Kingdom, plus the three Crown dependencies, all but three of
Spain the Kingdom of Spain, is a country located in Europe. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula, its territory includes two archipelagoes: the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The African enclaves of Ceuta, Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera make Spain the only European country to have a physical border with an African country. Several small islands in the Alboran Sea are part of Spanish territory; the country's mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar. With an area of 505,990 km2, Spain is the largest country in Southern Europe, the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union, the fourth largest country in the European continent. By population, Spain is the fifth in the European Union. Spain's capital and largest city is Madrid. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago. Iberian cultures along with ancient Phoenician, Greek and Carthaginian settlements developed on the peninsula until it came under Roman rule around 200 BCE, after which the region was named Hispania, based on the earlier Phoenician name Spn or Spania.
At the end of the Western Roman Empire the Germanic tribal confederations migrated from Central Europe, invaded the Iberian peninsula and established independent realms in its western provinces, including the Suebi and Vandals. The Visigoths would forcibly integrate all remaining independent territories in the peninsula, including Byzantine provinces, into the Kingdom of Toledo, which more or less unified politically and all the former Roman provinces or successor kingdoms of what was documented as Hispania. In the early eighth century the Visigothic Kingdom fell to the Moors of the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate, who arrived to rule most of the peninsula in the year 726, leaving only a handful of small Christian realms in the north and lasting up to seven centuries in the Kingdom of Granada; this led to many wars during a long reconquering period across the Iberian Peninsula, which led to the creation of the Kingdom of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom of Aragon and Kingdom of Navarre as the main Christian kingdoms to face the invasion.
Following the Moorish conquest, Europeans began a gradual process of retaking the region known as the Reconquista, which by the late 15th century culminated in the emergence of Spain as a unified country under the Catholic Monarchs. Until Aragon had been an independent kingdom, which had expanded toward the eastern Mediterranean, incorporating Sicily and Naples, had competed with Genoa and Venice. In the early modern period, Spain became the world's first global empire and the most powerful country in the world, leaving a large cultural and linguistic legacy that includes more than 570 million Hispanophones, making Spanish the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese. During the Golden Age there were many advancements in the arts, with world-famous painters such as Diego Velázquez; the most famous Spanish literary work, Don Quixote, was published during the Golden Age. Spain hosts the world's third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Spain is a secular parliamentary democracy and a parliamentary monarchy, with King Felipe VI as head of state.
It is a major developed country and a high income country, with the world's fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and sixteenth largest by purchasing power parity. It is a member of the United Nations, the European Union, the Eurozone, the Council of Europe, the Organization of Ibero-American States, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Schengen Area, the World Trade Organization and many other international organisations. While not an official member, Spain has a "Permanent Invitation" to the G20 summits, participating in every summit, which makes Spain a de facto member of the group; the origins of the Roman name Hispania, from which the modern name España was derived, are uncertain due to inadequate evidence, although it is documented that the Phoenicians and Carthaginians referred to the region as Spania, therefore the most accepted etymology is a Semitic-Phoenician one.
Down the centuries there have been a number of accounts and hypotheses: The Renaissance scholar Antonio de Nebrija proposed that the word Hispania evolved from the Iberian word Hispalis, meaning "city of the western world". Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the term span is the Phoenician word spy, meaning "to forge metals". Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean "the land where metals are forged", it may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge", a reference to Spain's location at the end of the Mediterranean. The word in question means "Hyrax" due to Phoenicians confusing the two animals. Hispania may derive from the poetic use of the term Hesperia, reflecting the Greek perception of Italy as a "western land" or "land of the setting sun" (Hesperia