1. Why were the ancient Olympics initially organised?

Originally the games were probably organized by this small town, but from about 570 BC onwards, the games were definitely under the control of the bigger city Elis, about 50 km north of Olympia.

2. How and when did the modern Olympics begin?

On April 6, 1896, the first modern Olympic Games are held in Athens, Greece, with athletes from 14 countries participating.

3. Why were athletes originally given olive wreaths as a reward?

The branches of the sacred wild-olive tree near the temple of Zeus were cut by a “pais amfithalis” (a boy whose parents were both alive) with a pair of golden scissors.

4. Why do you think women were not allowed to participate in the ancient Olympics?

Women were second-class people, like slaves and foreigners. Only free-born Greek (male) citizens were allowed (at least until the Romans began to exert their influence).

5. Why is a flame lit at the modern Olympics? Where does the flame come from?

Commemorating the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus, its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics.   The fire was introduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since.