Summer Olympic Games facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
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Olympic rings
The Olympic Rings are the symbol of the Olympic Games.

The Summer Olympic Games or the Games of the Olympiad are an international sporting event which are held every four years by the International Olympic Committee. The "Games", as they are often called, are held in a different city each time. It is a great honour for a city to be "awarded" (given) the right to hold the Olympic Games. Two years after the Summer Olympics, the Winter Olympic Games are held. These are always in a cold, mountainous place because the sports are all snow and ice sports such as skiing. Many more countries send athletes to the Summer Olympics than to the Winter Olympics.

The Olympic Games were first held in Ancient Greece more than two thousand years ago. The first modern Summer Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. There were 200 athletes from Greece and 45 athletes from 13 other countries. Since 1904, medals have been given to the three best athletes or teams in each sport.

The earliest Games consisted of 42 events only, but it was expected that 10,500 athletes would compete in the 302 events on the program for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

List of modern Summer Olympic Games

Summer olympics all cities
Map of Summer Olympics locations

Games in italics were cancelled or have not yet been held.

Cancelled Games

  • The 1906 Summer Olympics or 1906 Intercalated Games were discounted ex post facto by the IOC. All medals awarded during these games have not since been counted officially on total medal counts.
  • The following games were cancelled due to the World Wars. The 1916 Summer Olympics were cancelled due to the onset of WWI; both the Summer and Winter Olympics of 1940 and 1944 were cancelled due to WWII.
  • Some summer events were held by the IOC in celebration of its Jubilee in Lausanne, despite the war that cancelled the 1944 Summer Olympics, at the Jubilee Celebrations of the IOC.

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Summer Olympic Games Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.