In my previous speech about the Olympic Games, I introduced the topic and gave a brief history including the first recorded Olympics, how the International Olympic Committee was formed, and the first Winter Olympic games. In this speech, I am going to cover a little more history and some records that have contributed to the athletic showcase we know today.
Main Points: * When I think of the Olympics, one of the first images to pop into my head is the Olympic rings. The interlocking colors of blue, yellow, black, green, and red presented on a white background symbolize peace and unity among the competing nations. * According to the historian Karl Lennantz, the logo of the Olympic rings was designed by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics as I mentioned in my previous speech. He was inspired from, of all things, an ad in a magazine for bike tires which were arranged in the pattern seen in the logo today. * This symbol was inaugurated as the official logo for the Olympic games in June of 1914. * Most of the world associates this symbol with the excitement and the prestige of the Olympic games. * Perhaps the other symbol of significance at the Olympics is the gold medal. * According to Time Magazine author Claire Suddath, the history of the giving champions a medal does not start with the first Olympics in 776 BC, but rather during the first modern Olympics in 1896. * Winners were given a silver medal. * According to Heather Wheeler, the first actual gold medal was presented during the 1904 Olympic games is St. Louis, MO. * Today’s gold medals are actually silver covered in gold and they almost always depict Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. * All this talk of the medals and awards leads me to talk about the records and achievements that some Olympic athletes have accomplished. * During the 2008 Beijing Olympic games, history was made in the pool. * In the sport of swimming, Michael Phelps broke Mark Spitz’ long standing record, according to an article about Phelps on Olympic.org. * Phelps earned his eighth Olympic gold in a single Olympic games, breaking Spitz’ previous record of seven, in the 4x100 freestyle relay. This relay was composed of Phelps, Garrett Weber-gale, NC State’s own Cullen Jones, and the oldest member of the US Olympic swim team, Jason Lezak. * Again, during the 2012 London Olympics, Phelps surpassed another record. This time for the most career Olympic gold medals. * He topped Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina’s record when he received his 18th Olympic gold, the most won by an Olympic athlete. * In total, Phelps has 22 Olympic medals.
In conclusion, Olympic athletes and the games themselves inspire people all over the world. So in 2014 when you watch the winter Olympics, I hope you remember some of the history and facts I have presented to you.
Lennantz, Karl. "Who Made the Olympic Rings?." The New York Times.Web.
"Michael PHELPS | Olympic Athlete | Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Sydney 2000." Olympics | Olympic Medals, Results, Videos, Sports, News | IOC.
Suddath, Claire . "A Brief History Of: Olympic Medals." TIME.com.Web.
"The Olympic Games." History.com. Web.
Wheeler, Heather. "The Olympic Games Timeline." History on the Net Main Page. Web. 1 Feb. 2013.
Bibliography: Lennantz, Karl. "Who Made the Olympic Rings?." The New York Times.Web. "Michael PHELPS | Olympic Athlete | Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Sydney 2000." Olympics | Olympic Medals, Results, Videos, Sports, News | IOC. Suddath, Claire . "A Brief History Of: Olympic Medals." TIME.com.Web. "The Olympic Games." History.com. Web. Wheeler, Heather. "The Olympic Games Timeline." History on the Net Main Page. Web. 1 Feb. 2013.