Olympic has its origin in Greece where the Greek cities' representatives competed in various sports mainly athletics, chariot racing, and combat. Olympic was considered then as part of a religious ritual and was held parallel to the honor of Mythical Kings of Olympia, Zeus, and Pelops.Winning Olympic then and even today added great value and recognition to an individual. Olympic winners have continued to be idolized, and some have been immortalized through poems and erecting statues in their honor. Some winners, especially those who have dominated the Olympic Games have built their financial position through the financial rewards that come with winning a medal. Athens hosted the first Olympic Games in 1896 as a tribute to its origin with 14 nations competing in 43 events. Since then many countries have dominated the medal standing.
The Top Performing Countries
1976 Summer Olympics Games
Montreal Canada was the place of action in 1976 for the Summer Olympic Games with a total of 92 nations participating in the event. A total of 6,084 athletes registered for 198 events in 21 sports. However, most of the African nations boycotted the event in protest of countries who had participated in events that seemed to have supported apartheid in South Africa. During the 1976 Summer Olympics, Canada finished position 27 with only 11 medals. The Soviet Union was ranked position one with a total of 125 medals including 49 gold medals, 41 silver medals and 35 silver medals. East Germany came second with 40 gold medals while the US finished third with 34 gold medals.
1980 Summer Olympic Games
1980 Olympic Games were the first to be held in the Eastern Europe. Held in Moscow, a total of 80 nations participated in 203 events in 21 sports. A total of 65 countries led by the US boycotted the event because of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. During 1980 Summer Olympic Games a total of 113 Olympic medals were won, and 36 world records were set. The Soviet Union again won the medal standing with a total of 80 gold medals with East Germany coming second with 47 gold medals
1984 Summer Olympic Games
Los Angeles, US hosted the 1984 Olympic Games where a total of 140 nations participated in 221 events in 21 sports. Though some few countries boycotted the1984 summer events, the boycott was not as severe as it was in 1980 in Moscow. After missing out of the 1980 Olympic Games, the US being the host dominated the 1984 Games collecting a total of 174 medals with a total of 83 gold medals.
1988 Summer Olympic Games
Seoul, in South Korea, was hosting the Summer Olympic Games in 1988 with a total of 159 nations taking part in the various events spread across 23 sports. Notably, 1988 was the last Olympic Games for both East Germany and the Soviet Union. After three weeks of sporting events, Soviet Union ranked first with a total of 55 gold medals while East Germany came second with 37 gold medals
The 2016 Rio Olympics
Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is scheduled to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games beginning on August 5th. 207 countries have confirmed their participation across 306 events. Though the run up to the Rio 2016 has been marked by threats such as political unrest and Zika virus, IOC has assured participants a successful event. 2016 Olympic Games is expected to be competitive with more than five countries favorite to win the overall medal standing. The US is projected to continue their dominance as they have done in the past 5 Olympic Games while China and Germany are also expected to perform well.
The Top Performing Countries Of The Last 10 Summer Olympic Games
|1||1976||Montreal, Canada||Soviet Union (URS)|
|2||1980||Moscow, Soviet Union||Soviet Union (URS)|
|3||1984||Los Angeles, United States||United States (USA)|
|4||1988||Seoul, South Korea||Soviet Union (URS)|
|5||1992||Barcelona, Spain||Unified Team (EUN)|
|6||1996||Atlanta, United States||United States (USA)|
|7||2000||Sydney, Australia||United States (USA)|
|8||2004||Ath2ens, Greece||United States (USA)|
|9||2008||Beijing, China||China (CHN)|
|10||2012||London, United Kingdom||United States (USA)|
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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