The Olympics are a time-honoured tradition that dates back to ancient Greece.
Today, the games are a global phenomenon, with athletes from all over the world competing for gold.
Here are ten fun facts about the Olympics:
1. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece in 1896.
2. The Olympic flame is lit at Olympia, site of the ancient Games, and then carried by torchbearer to the host city for the current Games.
3. The five interlocking rings on the Olympic flag represent the union of the five inhabited regions of the world which participated in inaugural edition of the modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896: Africa, America, Asia, Australia and Europe.
4. There are three types of medals awarded at the Olympics: gold, silver and bronze. Gold medalists receive their weight in silver; silver medalists receive their weight in bronze. Bronze medalists get nothing.
5. The oldest Olympian was Swedish shooter Oscar Swahn who competed at age 72 years old at 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp Belgium – he won a silver medal.
6. Athletes in the original ancient Olympic Games competed in the nude.
7. From 1921 to 1948, artists such as architects, painters, musicians, sculptors and writers would compete for medals. Art was an official Olympic sport.
8. When Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the modern Olympics, he specifically chose the colours (blue, green, yellow, black, and red) so that at least one of those colours could be found on all of the flags of nations around the world.
9. Medal winners are not only inducted into their nation’s history and Olympic history but they are also honoured at the Olympic stadium of that year’s tournament. Their names are engraved on the walls of the stadium – allowing their legacy to be written in stone.
10. The first Paralympic Games took place in Rome in 1960, designed to allow war veterans a chance to compete and rehabilitate.