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Olympics: Get ready for Rio!

Sean's picture

On Friday, August 5th, the 2016 Summer Olympics kick off in Rio de Janeiro with the opening ceremony. You can catch it at 6:30 pm central time on NBC. Click here to see a calendar with the full TV listings for all 16 days of the games, and here for a breakdown of what events are occurring each day. We’re excited about the Olympics at FRVPLD; take a look below to see the materials and programs we have to get you ready for Rio!


Bookshelf with Olympic-related books

Come see the Olympic book display by the Information Services desk at the Dundee Library!


The Olympics are special to me, personally, as well because in college I took a study abroad class all about the history of the Olympics. We visited various Olympic sites, both ancient and modern, in Greece, Italy, and Switzerland (where the Olympic headquarters is located). It was a truly rewarding experience that gave me a greater appreciation for the event. I’d like to share a little bit about the history of the Olympics first.


Olympic bobsled track

The bobsled/luge track from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy


Entrance to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland

Entrance to the official Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland


The Olympics of today are based off of Olympic festivals that took place in Ancient Greece. It was just for the different regions within Greece, and it started off as a way for warriors to train. Then it became a festival of peace. Hercules is credited with starting these festivals, which took place in Olympia, Greece (hence the name Olympics), and they were held every 4 years. The main events included: discus, javelin, running, long jump, wrestling, shot put, and chariot racing. So how did we get from these Olympics to the modern ones?


Entrance to the ancient Olympic stadium in Olympia, Greece

          The entrance to the ancient Olympic stadium in Olympia, Greece


Ancient Olympic stadium in Olympia, Greece

The stadium used for the ancient Olympic games in Olympia, Greece


Baron Pierre de Coubertin decided he wanted to revive the ancient Olympics of Greece. He first wanted to use the games to train French soldiers, but then decided to make it an international event to promote peace among all nations. He formed the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the governing body of the Olympics, in 1894. The first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Like the ancient Olympics, the modern Olympics are held every 4 years. This was the start of the Summer Olympics. The Winter Olympics, however, started in 1924. In 1912, Coubertin created the famous Olympic symbol, the 5 rings. The white background and 5 different colors of the rings represent all of the colors that appeared on the flags of all of the countries that competed at that time. The Rio games mark the 120th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games, and the event has really grown to become the foremost international sporting competition.


Olympic stadium in Athens, Greece from the 1896 games.

           The Olympic stadium in Athens, Greece from the 1896 games


Main stadium from the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece

The main stadium from the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece


If you’re interested in learning more about the Olympics or want some fun, Olympic-related materials, take a look at what we have at FRVPLD:

Adults: Fiction | Nonfiction

Teens: Fiction | Nonfiction

Children: Fiction | Nonfiction


Video Games


FRVPLD is having its own Summer Olympic games! Join us at Randall Oaks on Saturday, August 6th from 2 pm to 3 pm for some fun Olympic challenges! Registration is required.


Be sure to keep an eye out for Jacobs High School alum Evan Jager as he competes in the 3000m steeplechase!