Eighty years later, when the 2004 Summer Olympics returned to Athens for the first time in more than a century, nearly 11,000 athletes from a record 201 countries competed.
“If I didn't do it, I would train for another four years and it's good to have the experience here and would be prepared for this meet.
So I feel like I had the great experience four years ago, and I've gained a lot of international experience since then, and I feel a lot more comfortable on deck and being in this kind of environment than I did four years ago."Four years ago I had a lot of family come, about 30 family members come, and I have about 50, 55 coming this time.
Some 3,000 athletes (with more than 100 women among them) from 44 nations competed that year, and for the first time the Games featured a closing ceremony.
The Winter Olympics debuted that year, including such events as figure skating, ice hockey, bobsledding and the biathlon.
The Olympic Games, which originated in ancient Greece as many as 3,000 years ago, were revived in the late 19th century and have become the world’s preeminent sporting competition. Since 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games have been held separately and have alternated every two years.
The first modern Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens, and featured 280 participants from 13 nations, competing in 43 events.The pentathlon (consisting of five events: a foot race, a long jump, discus and javelin throws and a wrestling match) was introduced in 708 B. In November 1892, at a meeting of the Union des Sports Athlétiques in Paris, Coubertin proposed the idea of reviving the Olympics as an international athletic competition held every four years.Two years later, he got the approval he needed to found the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which would become the governing body of the modern Olympic Games.All subsequent Olympiads have been numbered even when no Games take place (as in 1916, during World War I, and in 19, during World War II).The official symbol of the modern Games is five interlocking colored rings, representing the continents of North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.The ancient Olympics were held every four years between August 6 and September 19 during a religious festival honoring Zeus.