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The Olympic Sprit: Participation Matters

More than 10.000 Athlets from all five continents will participate in 38 different disciplines. It is the 28th time since the first modern Olympic Games took place 1896, more than 100 years ago. It was the french Pierre Baron de Coubertin who had the idea of a peaceful competition of the nations and invented the modern Olympic Games.

The idea dates back more than 2500 years in history. It was in the year 776 B.C. when the very first Olympic Games took place in the acient city of Olympia, today a part of the modern Athen. The Games don't take place in Athens every time. Since 1896 they have been held every four years in a number of Cities around the world. In fact, being the host of the Olympic Games is a big thing for a city and the governments work hard to apply for Olympia. In 2008 the Games will be held in Bejing, the Capital of China. It is still open where the games will take place in 2012. Maybe one day Kabul will be hosting the Olympics.

Every sportsman and sportwoman is excercising hard and wants to win. But in each discipline, there are only three people who can win the gold, silver or bronce medal. This is why the Olympic motto "Participation Matters" has spread. After all, the games are a fair competition and everyone who is even sent there has already gone through a thorrogh qualification procedure in his or her home country. So not only the winner is a hero but every single athlet who has made it all the way there up to the day where he or she will be part of the opening ceremoy - guarded by billions of spectators on TV.

The Olympic Games are organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its member National Olympic Committees (NOC). The Olympic Movement is a non-governmental, supra-national, indepdendent organisation. More information about the IOC can be found on the Internet at