The Olympic Games are a long and historic tradition that date back to ancient Greece. The games have become a joyful event where people from all over the world come together to compete in both the Summer and Winter Games. The games occur on a four-year schedule, with the winter and summer competitions occurring two years apart.

The games started with a limited assortment of sports but have evolved to include more over the last 3,000 or so years since the first games were held, according to the International Olympic Committee. The first ever games included events in running, wrestling, boxing, equestrian competition, pankration and a pentathlon.

The games have evolved quite a bit since they were first played in ancient Greece.

Here are nine facts about the Olympics past and present:

  • The first ever Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924 in France. At first, the competition was called the “International Winter Sports Week,” and was only later declared the first Winter Games.
  • The Olympic motto is, “Citius, Altius, Fortius,” meaning faster, higher, stronger, respectively in Latin.
  • Women first competed in the modern Olympics in the 1900 games. They made up about two percent of all the athletes who competed and they took part in the tennis, sailing, croquet, equestrian and golf competitions.
  • The 2018 Pyeongchang Games will be the first during which an openly gay man will compete for the United States. Figure Skater Adam Rippon follows in the footsteps of Gus Kenworthy, who came out a year after he won an Olympic medal in the 2014 Games in Sochi.
  • The International Olympic Committee was founded in 1896 with the first Games of modern times, Pierre de Coubertin was the man who brought the games back to life.
  • The first woman to ever land back-to-back 1080 jumps in the snowboarding halfpipe competition, 17-year-old Chloe Kim, is expected to compete for team USA during the 2018 Games.
  • The Olympic rings, the logo of the games, represents the union of the five continents. North and South America are considered one continent, and Antarctica is not included in the logo.
  • During the opening ceremony, the Olympic oath must be taken by an athlete, an official and a coach, the Olympic Charter states.
  • Team USA is sending three five-time Olympians to the games and five defending gold medalists.

Olympic Rings Olympic rings Photo: Reuters ​​