Since the Ancient Olympics in Greece, the modern day Olympics has expanded from only Grecian people who spoke Greek to worldwide competition from diverse cultures around the world in which each country’s participant vies for their country’s honor and glory. Today, we even have the Special Olympics for challenged persons who want to compete in some of the same events. Whether you enjoy sports or not, the Olympics is one of the most interesting and publicized events in the world today; both Games holding summer and winter competitions. Some of the first events in Greece were Javelin, Jump, Discus and Chariot Race. I have been watching the Olympics since I was a child. My favorite sports are in the winter time, even though I love swimming. Watching the Olympics, you have the opportunity to see all different types of people from various countries around the world competing in a sport they have trained in for years, probably a lifetime. One of the most popular favorites is Figure Skating, whether you like singles or Ice Dancing doubles, there is guaranteed excitement waiting for the competitors to hit the ice. Even though some of the names are familiar to me, it is very difficult to keep track of the Games and their respective winners. Therefore, I did some research on the topic. The first thing I found was that the Ice Dancing event became an Olympic competition in 1968 at the Grenoble Olympics when two Americans named Jim Sladky and Judy Schwomeyer danced their way to a dream by performing their Ice Dancing demonstration and making history by making their competition become an Olympic event. Two Americans in Russia during the 60’s initiating an Olympic event during the Vietnam War (1954-1975) while Communist countries like China and Russia were supporting Northern Vietnamese forces. In 1973, the Vietnam War ended when Henry Kissinger and Democratic Vietnamese leader Lee Docteau signed the Paris Conference Peace Treaty, causing the release of prisoners of war, some of whom were prisoners for more than eight years.# You can watch the video of President Nixon giving the speech on Britannica.com. There are various other video links to watch. I will attach some in my bibliography; “Learn About the Vietnam War” mentions 1968 during this specific time period. Another mentions how the war started as a training exercise to support southern Vietnam forces, escalating without warning into a full scale war. We went through three presidents during the Vietnam War and two other Olympic Games. In the -2-
1964, the Winter Games were held in Austria while the Summer Games were held in Japan.
My memories of skating history are Sonja Henie, who won three gold medals in the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics, long before pairs became an event. She eventually made a career out of her efforts and training like most athletes. Personally, I remember the Ice Capades and more recently, Disney on Ice. The 1932 Olympic Games (both Summer and Winter) were held during the Great Depression in California, with a severe decline in attendance due to the economy, according to “Olympic.org”. Only six other Olympic Games were hosted by the United States. The intensive training that Communist countries are noted and rumored for has not prevents other countries prevent from winning medals. In today’s Olympics, some of my favorite events are the downhill slalom, SuperG and Freestyle skiing competitions. In this past 2010 Winter Olympics in...