Olympic Games are commonly believed to have been first celebrated in 776 BC at
Subsequent games were held at four years intervals in different cities of the world. At first, the Olympic programme was confined to one day and consisted only of a single event--a race, the length of the stadium.
Afterwards, additional races and other events were added and the duration was also extended. Olympic Games are now held for 16 days. The 24th Seoul Olympics include the following games.
ARCHERY: Even after the bow and arrow were displaced as weapons of war in the 15th century, this ancient skill has survived as a sport. Competitors will vie for 4 gold medals.
ATHLETICS: Athletics is among the oldest form of organized sport and the most truly inter-national in practice. There are 42 events in which the athletes will go for the gold in the Seoul Olympic Stadium.
BASEBALL: It will be the eighth time for baseball, the so called national sport of the
BASKETBALL: When James A. Naismith posted his 13 rules of basketball on the wall of YMCA Training College in Springfield, Massachusetts, in December 1891, he could not have known how popular his invention would become world wide. 2 gold medals will go to the winning teams.
BOXING: Pugilisun is a venerable sport, having existed in some form or other since 1500 BC even before the ancient Greek introduced boxing to the Games at the 23rd Olympiad in 688 BC Fighters in 22 weight divisions will pair off for 12 gold medals.
CANOEING: Racing canoes and kayas was first developed in
CYCLING: Cycling as a sport dates from the latter half of the 19th century in
EQUESTRIAN SPORTS: The equestrian events are in shown jumping, which tests the horse’s speed and ability to jump high; dressage, which demonstrates the horse’s skill and obedience; and the three days event, which combines jumping, dressage and endurance tests on roads and tracks, steeplechase and cross country. There will be 6 gold medals for the top winners.
FENCING: Believe it or not, a 12th century BC Egyptian relief carving shows fencers participating with covered points and wearing masks and padding. It is only fitting that so ancient a sport should have been included in the Olympics from the first Games in 1896. Contestants will take up foils, sabers and epees to complete for 8 gold medals.
FOOTBALL: Some form of this game has been around for millennia. The Romans spread their version throughout
GYMNASTICS: Systematic training of the body was espoused by the ancient Greeks, who may be regarded as the originators of this discipline. The modern sport was spread throughout the world by European gymnastic societies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The athletes will compete for 15 gold medals.
HANDBALL: The object of the game is the same as football: get the ball in the opponents’ goal as often as possible. The game has been an official Olympic Sport since 1972. There will be 2 gold medals for the winning teams.
HOCKEY: This game is actually much more widely played all-over the world than any other game save football. In fact it is believed to be the oldest game played with a stick and ball. Hockey has been in the Olympics in 1908, 1920 and regularly from 1928 on.
JUDO: Judo is a Japanese system of unarmed combat that makes use of special techniques to turn the opponent’s force to one’s own advantage. It joined the roster of official Olympic sports in 1964 at the Tokyo Games. There will be a gold medal each in 7 weight divisions for winners.
MODERN PENTATHLON: This sport, which has been part of the Olympics since 1912, is based on skills needed by a battlefield courier and combines riding on un familiar horse over 15 jumps, fencing in duels, swimming against the clock, shooting a pistol with only 3 seconds to aim and fire and running a 4 km cross country course. The teams will compete for 2 gold medals.
ROWING: Rowing skills have evolved from ancient time but the first record of boat racing is from the year 1300 in
SHOOTING: The guns now in use are modern developments, but target shooting dates as far back as the 15th century; and shooting has been an official Olympic sport since the First Games in 1896. The best shooters will take away 13 gold medals.
SWIMMING: Swimming races were included in the First Games in 1896. Diving was added in 1904 and women events in 1912. There will be 38 gold medals up for taking at Seoul Games 31 in swimming races, 4 in diving, 2 in synchronized swimming and 1 in water polo.
TABLE TENNIS: Invented in
World Championships have been held since 1927, but table tennis is new to the Olympics at the 24th Games. Players will compete for 4 gold medals.
TAEKWONDO: Although Taekwondo already has a big world wide following and was included as an official sport in the 10th Asian Games, held in
TENNIS: The modern game of lawn tennis is a descendent of an earlier game called real tennis or court tennis and dates from the latter half of the 19th century. Demonstration matches were held at the 23rd Games in
VOLLEYBALL: It is hard to believe that when volleyball was invented in 1895 it was meant to serve as an indoor sport for businessman who found basketball too vigorous.
International competition began in 1913 at the First Far East Games in
WEIGHTLIFTING: Lifting a special rock has been a test of manhood since ancient times, but modern weight lifting began as entertainment in music halls and circuses in the 18th and 19th centuries. The first world championships were held in
WRESTLING: Wrestling has been popular since time immoral and was included in the ancient
YACHTING: Yachts were built in
A stamp exhibition OLYMPHILEX ‘88’ is also being held at
To commemorate the 1988 Olympics being held in