Everyone involved with the 2020 Olympic Games has been through extraordinary challenges. After 4 years of preparation, the Games were postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now, just days before the Games begin, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has amended its motto to — as President Thomas Bach said — stress the need for solidarity during difficult times such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The change adds “Together,” after a dash. The amended Olympic motto is now: “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together.” In Latin, it is now “Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communis.”
“Solidarity fuels our mission to make the world a better place through sport,” Bach told IOC members before the vote to approve the amendment. “We can only go faster, we can only aim higher, we can only become stronger by standing together — in solidarity.”
After IOC members unanimously approved the update and amended the Olympic Charter, Bach said, “We want to put special focus on solidarity.” He then went on to add, “That’s what the word ‘together’ means — solidarity.”
The Ancient Olympic Games
The ancient Olympics, which were held in Greece every 4 years, were part of a religious festival honoring the Greek god Zeus. It’s estimated that by the 5th century B.C., contestants from as many as 100 cities throughout the Greek empire competed in sports that originally included running, long jump, shot put, javelin, boxing, and equestrian events, according to the IOC. Other events, such as pentathlon and wrestling, were added to the Games later.
“With the rise of Rome, the Olympics declined, and in 393 A.D., the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, abolished the Games as part of his efforts to suppress paganism in the Roman Empire,” a History.com article explains.
In 1894, at a conference on international sport, French baron, Pierre de Coubertin, proposed reviving the Olympics as an international competition. All of the delegates from the nine countries attending the conference approved the proposal and created the International Olympic Committee.
The first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896 in Athens, Greece’s capital, in recognition of the Games’ heritage. At those Games, 280 athletes from 13 nations competed in 43 events covering track-and-field, swimming, gymnastics, cycling, wrestling, weightlifting, fencing, shooting, and tennis, the History.com article explains. All the competitors were men.
The 2020 Olympic Games were originally scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9, 2020, but they were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, they will run from July 23 to August 8.
The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will feature 339 events in 33 different sports. Approximately 11,500 athletes from 205 countries and regions are expected to compete.
How You Can Watch The Olympics
NBC will be the exclusive Olympics broadcaster on network television in the U.S. The IOC also notes that “The official Olympic Channel app is available on connected TV devices for Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and the Roku platform (as well as apps for mobile and tablets).” You can learn more about the app here.
While you’re thinking about the Olympics, be sure to read “17 Countries Competing In the Olympics You May Not Know Exist.” Be sure to also read our Tokyo coverage and Japan coverage.