August 8-24th, 2008 - Beijing, China
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Olympic history began with the revival of the ancient Olympics which involved athletes from 14 nations. The country with the largest delegation came from
At the first Olympics in 1896, there were 241 participants from 14 nations. The history of the Olympics continued with ceremonies that typically started with the hoisting of the host country's flag and the performing of its national anthem. The history of the Olympics evolved into traditional parts of the current ceremonies that start off with the "parade of nations" or athletes, during which most participating athletes march into the stadium, country by country. One honored athlete, typically a top competitor, from each country carries the flag of his or her nation, leading the entourage of other athletes from that country. In Olympic history, during the chariot racing event, it was not the rider but the owner of the chariot and team who was considered to be the competitor, so one man could win more than one of the top spots. The addition of events meant the festival grew from one day to five days, three of which were used for competition. The other two days were dedicated to religious rituals.
On the final day of the historic Olympics there was a banquet for all of the participants, consisting of 100 oxen that had been sacrificed to Zeus on the first day. In Olympic history, participation in the games was limited to male athletes; the only way women were allowed to take part was to enter horses in the equestrian events. The ancient history of the Olympics was rather different from the modern games of today. There were fewer events, and only free men who spoke Greek could compete, instead of athletes from any country. Also, the games were always held at
Like these Olympics, its history has always been that the winning athletes were heroes who put their home towns on the map. One young Athenian nobleman defended his political reputation by mentioning how he entered seven chariots in the Olympic chariot-race. This high number of entries made both the aristocrat and