Even though the modern Olympic games are patterned after those held in ancient Greece, there are many important differences.
Are the modern Olympics the same as the ancient ones?
The games are still held every four years, as in ancient times. In those days, wars were stopped so that the games could take place, but in 1916, 1940, and 1944, they were not held, because of world war I and world war II.
The original Olympics were always held in Olympia, Greece. Each modern Olympiad is held in or near a different city of the world.
The earlier games were often only to greek citizens and athletes from Mediterranean countries.the modern games encourage all nations to compete.
Another big difference is that events for women have become a major part of the modern games. And the female winners receive the same honours as the men who win.
In the ancient games, there were honours for cultural achievements. Modern competition is almost entirely athletic. Many of the contests held in the modern Olympics were unknown in early times. These include bicycle, canoe, and yacht racing; soccer, basketball, judo, rifle shooting, and water polo.
One of the most popular events of the modern Olympics is the marathon. This very tiring twenty-six mile foot race over an open course is the supreme test of the runner’s endurance. The marathon was not part of the ancient Olympics although it originated in Greece.
And finally, a more recent development in the Olympics are the winter games, which were started in 1924. They are held separately from the summer games but in the same year. The winter Olympics provide competition in skiing, speed and figure skating, ice hockey, bobsledding, tobogganing, and rifle shooting. Such cold-weather sports could never have developed in the warm climate of Greece.