History will be made in 2016 when Rio de Janeiro, Brazil hosts the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, marking the first time that a South American country will welcome the world to an Olympic Games. It is also just the third time that the Games will be held in the southern hemisphere, following Melbourne 1956 and Sydney 2000.
Rugby Sevens is a fast-paced, exciting variant of traditional Rugby in which teams are made up of seven players, instead of the usual fifteen-a-side. The game consists of two seven-minute halves and is played on the same size field with many of the rules consistent with its predecessor. Sevens is a game that requires speed, skill, and strength and is played by rugby’s fastest and fittest athletes, both male and female.
The first Games of the modern-era were held from April 6 to April 15, attended by 14 countries, 245 athletes (none of which were women) and consisted of 43 events. On April 6, American James Connolly won the triple jump to become the first Olympic champion in more than 1,500 years.
The Games of 1900 were held in Paris as part of the Exposition Universelle Internationale – the Paris World’s Fair. The exposition organizers spread the events over five months and de-emphasized their Olympic status.
The organizers repeated the same pattern of the 1900 organization. The Olympic competitions were spread out over four and a half months and were included in a World’s Fair. The 1904 Olympic Games were the first at which gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for first, second and third place.
These Olympic Games were originally awarded to Rome, but reassigned to London. The Games marked the first appearance of diving and field hockey. At the Opening Ceremony, the athletes marched into the stadium by nation, as most countries sent selected national teams.
Held in Stockholm, the 1912 Olympic Games were a model of efficiency. The Swedish hosts introduced the use of unofficial electronic timing devices for the track events, as well as the first use of a public address system and photo finish.
The 1920 Games were awarded to Antwerp to honour the suffering that had been inflicted on the Belgian people during World War I. The Opening Ceremony was notable for the introduction of the Olympic flag and the presentation of the Athletes’ Oath.