The Summer Olympic Games

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Beijing, China, Aug. 8-24

Marathon runners train for the first modern Olympics, Athens 1896.

Marathon runners, Greece 1896

Summer Olympics History

Sports Overviews

Track and Field · Swimming · Gymnastics · Basketball · Beach Volleyball · More

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Special Features

The Games New

Summer Games Highlights: 2008
Day-to-day news from Beijing

Distribution of Medals—2008 Summer Games
From the United States to Venezuela

Other 2008 Summer Olympic Games Champions
From archery to wrestling

History of the Olympic Torch, Flame, and Relay
From symbolism of fire to criticisms and protests

Beijing Controversies
Tibet, Darfur, pollution, and the general destruction of Beijing

Summer Games: Gold Medals
A round-up of the major competitions

Olympics Timeline
From ancient Greece to the present day

Modern Olympic Symbols
Flames, doves, oaths, and more

Ancient Olympic Traditions
The Olympics draws on traditions of war, religion, economy

Olympic Fun Facts
Poland's "Stella the Fella" and other amazing trivia

Spirit in motion

The LZR Racer
The world's fastest swim suit

U.S. Olympic Training Facilities
Where Olympians live and train

Olympic Athletes
The sponsorship behind the athletes

The Olympics and Greece

The First Modern Olympics: Athens, 1896
Fourteen nations participated in the first modern Olympics

The Olympics of Ancient Greece
The first ancient games are believed to have begun in 776 B.C.

Memorable Moments

Jesse Owens
Track star Jesse Owens defiantly bucks Hitler

Louganis's Headache
The terrifying diving accident of Seoul's 1988 games

The Man with the Golden Shoes
Michael Johnson sets the pace in 1996

La Gazella: Wilma Rudolph
African-American track star and three-time gold medallist

A Perfect 10
Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci achieves perfection in 1976

Abebe on the Appian Way
Runner Abebe Bikila became the first black African to win gold

Read more memorable moments . . .

Fun Stuff

Quiz: Summer Olympics Trivia
Greek shepherd Spiridon Louis . . .

Quiz: The Ancient Olympics
The Olympics were held in honor of this Greek god . . .

Quiz: Ancient Greek Games (challenging)
Women competed in these games, which may predate the Olympics . . .

Quiz: Olympic Mascots
Hodori and Hosuni, the mascots of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, were what type of animal?

Quiz: Olympic Cities
Which country has won the most medals at the Olympic games—without ever hosting the games?

Quiz: Memorable Ceremonies
Which of the following items was not given to event winners at the first modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896?





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