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      Olympic Sports

      Olympic Games, athletic festival that originated in ancient Greece and was revived in the late 19th century. Before the 1970s the Games were officially limited to competitors with amateur status, but in the 1980s many events were opened to professional athletes. Currently, the Games are open to all, even the top professional athletes in basketball and football (soccer).

      Olympic Sports Encyclopedia Articles

      Featured Articles

      Doherty brothers
      Doherty brothers, English tennis players who dominated the sport from 1897 to 1906. As a team, Laurie Doherty (in full Hugh Lawrence Doherty; b. Oct. 8, 1875, London, Eng.—d. Aug. 21, 1919, Broadstairs, Kent) and Reggie Doherty (in full Reginald Frank Doherty; b. Oct. 14, 1872, London, Eng.—d. Dec....
      Biography
      Olympic Village
      Olympic Games: National Olympic committees, international federations, and organizing committees: …the complex was called “Olympic Village.” But the first Olympic Village with kitchens, dining rooms, and other amenities was introduced at Los Angeles in 1932. Now each organizing committee provides such a village so that competitors and team officials can be housed together and fed at a reasonable price.…...
      Encyclopedia / Olympic Sports
      Linger brothers
      Linger brothers, team of two Austrian brothers who competed together in men’s doubles luge, winning gold medals at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The older of the brothers was Andreas Linger (b. May 31, 1981,...
      Biography
      Andreas (left) and Wolfgang Linger, 2011.
      Swimming
      Swimming, in recreation and sports, the propulsion of the body through water by combined arm and leg motions and the natural flotation of the body. Swimming as an exercise is popular as an all-around body developer and is particularly useful in therapy and as exercise for physically handicapped...
      Encyclopedia / Olympic Sports
      Cycling
      Cycling, use of a bicycle for sport, recreation, or transportation. The sport of cycling consists of professional and amateur races, which are held mostly in continental Europe, the United States, and Asia. The recreational use of the bicycle is widespread in Europe and the United States. Use of...
      Encyclopedia / Olympic Sports
      Miguel Indurain
      Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir
      Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, Canadian ice dancers who became the first North Americans to win the Olympic gold medal in ice dancing when they triumphed at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. The pair subsequently won a second Olympic gold medal at the 2018 Winter Games. Virtue and Moir...
      Biography
      Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir performing their signature move, “the goose,” during the free-dance portion of the ice dancing competition at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.
      Torvill and Dean
      Torvill and Dean, English figure skaters who revolutionized the sport of ice dancing. At the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (now in Bosnia and Herzegovina), Jayne Torvill (b. October 7, 1957, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England) and Christopher Dean (in full Christopher Colin Dean;...
      Biography
      Gymnastics
      Gymnastics, the performance of systematic exercises—often with the use of rings, bars, and other apparatus—either as a competitive sport or to improve strength, agility, coordination, and physical conditioning. The term gymnastics, derived from a Greek word meaning “to exercise naked,” applied in...
      Encyclopedia / Olympic Sports
      Michael Phelps
      Michael Phelps, American swimmer, who was the most-decorated athlete in Olympic history with 28 medals, which included a record 23 gold. At the 2008 Games in Beijing, he became the first athlete to win eight gold medals at a single Olympics. Phelps was raised in a family of swimmers and joined the...
      Biography
      Michael Phelps
      Olympic Games
      Olympic Games, athletic festival that originated in ancient Greece and was revived in the late 19th century. Before the 1970s the Games were officially limited to competitors with amateur status, but in the 1980s many events were opened to professional athletes. Currently, the Games are open to...
      Encyclopedia / Olympic Sports
      ancient Olympic Games
      Weightlifting
      Weightlifting, sport in which barbells are lifted competitively or as an exercise. For other activities using weights but distinct from weightlifting, see weight training, bodybuilding, and powerlifting. Weightlifting has a lengthy history. For many prehistoric tribes, the traditional test of...
      Encyclopedia / Olympic Sports
      The typical techniques in the Olympic snatch and the clean and jerk are shown at various stages of the movements.
      Winter Olympics
      Alpine skiing: skiing technique that evolved during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the mountainous terrain of the Alps in central Europe. Modern Alpine competitive skiing is divided into the so-called speed and technical events, the former comprising downhill skiing and the supergiant slalom, or…...
      Encyclopedia / Olympic Sports
      Skiing
      Skiing, recreation, sport, and mode of transportation that involves moving over snow by the use of a pair of long, flat runners called skis, attached or bound to shoes or boots. Competitive skiing is divided into Alpine, Nordic, and freestyle events. Competitions are also held in events such as...
      Encyclopedia / Olympic Sports
      Ski jumper leaning into V position during jump.

      Olympic Sports Encyclopedia Articles

      Special podcast episode for parents!
      Raising Curious Learners
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