With the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games just around the corner, Special Correspondent Abilash Rathnakaran takes us through a brief history of the quadrennial event
In Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’, the symbol of the modern Olympic games was devised to be the five pointed ‘Pentacle’ symbolising the Greek Goddess Venus and that it was later altered to the ‘five interlaced rings’. The Olympics games are conducted once in four years representing the half cycle of the planet Venus. It was these fictional details from the novel that were an icebreaker and provided an impetus to discover even more about the Olympics.
Prominent classical scholar Armand D’ Angour’s lesson in TED Ed reveals that the games originated in the ancient Olympia, a town in Greece, to honour the supreme God Zeus, way back in 776 BC. Initially, the athletes used to run naked in the sprints. Traditionally there were also contests for Poetry, Music and other Fine Arts. Politically, in the late 4th century AD the Christian Roman Emperor, Theodosius I, banned all the Pagan festivals, including the Olympics, to establish his religion. It took an excruciating millennium and five centuries to resurrect the games, in 1904.
A young French baron, Pierre de Coubertin, needs to be thanked for resurrecting the Olympic movement and being the torchbearer for the spirit of the Olympics. His voice thundered at the International Conferences, and Committees were formed to relaunch the games.
The Olympic flame is lit by harnessing the sun’s rays by hostesses dressed as traditional Greek Priestesses. If the Torch goes off it is relit only by a backup flame sparked in the temple of Hera, in Greece, the same way as the first one. Another fascinating history about the Olympic torch is that an unlit torch has been sent to outer space.
The motto of the Olympics: Citius, Altius and Fortius are of Latin origin, meaning Faster, Higher and Stronger. Amidst the pandemic, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will commence in 2021 giving Olympians a chance to prove their swiftness, stature and power.
Even as the world masks up, gets vaccinated and prepares to support and enjoy the event, they look up to these sportspersons for their motivation to reignite their energies and bring about better changes to the world, much like the sublimity of water.
Abilash Rathnakaran has had a proficient presence in the sports field, spearheading several events with the state and central governments. In this process, he has associated himself with different sports federations of India, which includes Senior National Volleyball Championship in 2016, Asian Bodybuilding Championship in 2017, Mr India Senior Bodybuilding & Best Physique in 2018 and Paralympic Nationals Games in 2019. His life, driven by his untrammelled passion for sports, is coupled with the goal of leading the way for aspiring sportspersons and enthusiasts. He would be enriching the viewers of Asian Herald with his insights, as our Special Sports Correspondent.