The Asian Games, also called the Asiad, is a multi-sport event held every
four years among athletes from all over Asia. The games are regulated by
the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) under the supervision of the
International Olympic Committee (IOC). Medals are awarded in each
event, with gold for first place, silver for second and bronze for third, a
tradition which started in 1951.
Competitors are entered by a National Olympic Committee (NOC) to
represent their country of citizenship. National anthems and flags
accompany the medal ceremonies, and tables showing the number of
medals won by each country are widely used. In general only recognized
nations are represented, but a few non-sovereign countries are allowed to
The first Asian games were held at New Delhi in 1951, which again hosted
it in 1982. The 15th Asian Games were held in Doha, Qatar from
December 1 to December 15, 2006. The 16th Asian Games will be held in
Guangzhou, China from November 12, 2010 to November 27, 2010.
These games organized at the initiative of the late Prime Minister Pt.
Jawaharlal Nehru in 1951 and have been held once in four year ever
since. It was Prof. Gurudutt Sondhi, a member of the IOC, who
encouraged by the sport-lover Maharaja Yadvendera Singh of Patiala and
supported by Pandit Nehru, tried to revive these games at the Asian
Relations Conference (ARC) convened by Pt Nehru at New Delhi in 1947.
The Asian Athletic Federation (AAF) was formed in 1948 which decided to
hold the first Athletic Championship at New Delhi in 1949. However, the
plan did not materialize.
Again in February 1949, the AAF met at New Delhi where it was renamed
as ‘Asian Games Federation’ (AGF). The AFG then decided to rename the
Asian Athletic Championship as Asiatic Games’. Subsequently Pt Nehru
suggested that these games be called ‘Asian Games’. The First president
and Secretary of AGF were Maharaja Yadvendra Singh of Patiala and Prof.
G.D. Sondhi, respectively.
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The AGF adopted ‘Ever Onward’, given by Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, as the
motto of the Asian Games.
The Emblem is a bright full rising sun with interlocking rings. The
Maharaja of Patiala (Yadvendra Singh) presented a Torch and a flag for
the first Asian Games and then they were carried from country to country
and finally, inaugurated by Dr. Rajendra Prasad (first President of India).
About 489 participants from 11 different nations participated in the
Nations which Participated in the First Asian Games:
Afghanistan, Burma, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Nepal, Philippines,
Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Sports in the First Asian Games:
Athletics, swimming, diving and water polo, cycling, weightlifting, football
Pt Jawaharlal Nehru’s Message to the Participants of the First
Asian Games “Play the game in the spirit of the game.”
Background Asian Games were first held as West Asian Games at New
Delhi in which India, Afghanistan, Palestine and Sri Lanka participated. In
view of the enthusiasm, it was decided to hold these games once in four
years at mid-point between Olympics. However, these games were
abandoned during World War II.
The Olympic Games are a major international event of summer and
winter sports, in which thousands of athletes compete in a wide variety of
events. The Games are currently held every two years, with Summer and
Winter Olympic Games alternating. In the late 19th century, Baron Pierre
de Coubertin was inspired by Olympic festivals to revive the Games. For
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this purpose, he founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in
1894, and two years later, the modern Olympic Games were established
in Athens. The IOC has since become the governing body of the Olympic
Movement, whose structure and actions are defined by the Olympic
Charter. The Olympic Movement currently comprises international sports
federations (IFs), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), and organizing
committees for each specific Olympic Games. As the decision-making
body, the IOC is responsible for choosing the host city for each Olympic
Games. The host city is responsible for organizing and funding a
celebration of the Games consistent with the Olympic Charter. The
Olympic program, consisting of the sports to be contested at each
Olympic Games, is also determined by the IOC. The celebration of the
Games encompasses many rituals and symbols, such as the Olympic flag
and torch, as well as the opening and closing ceremonies.
Why is it called Olympics?
his is an international sports festival which originated in the city of
eld at Mount Olympic in Greece in honour of Zeus
was the French nobleman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who (nearly over
Olympia, and ancient city of Greece, situated in the West Peloponnese.
These games were h
from 776 BC and continued till AD 394. Originally, these games lasted
only five days and generally, began on the first new moon day after
summer solstice, around mid-July. There was a ceremony of sacrifice of
an animal, whose meat was traditionally offered as prize to the winners.
From AD 394, these games started degenerating and by AD 580 they
altogether vanished. They were banned by the Roman Emperor
Theodosius as Pagan manifestations.
1500 years after the last ancient Olympics) revived these games in 1894.
During a conference at Sorbonne, held on June 23,1894 where 13
countries participated, a resolution was passed to revive these games and
the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formed at Paris with its
H.Q. at Mon Repos, Lausanne (Switzerland). The IOC, originally, had a
membership of only 15 in 1894, representing 12 nations. It has now a
membership of about 171 nations. The modern series of the Olympic
Games started in 1896 at Athens and since then are held every four
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Olympic Motto, Emblem Flag, Creed and Oath
“Citius, Altius, Fortius”. These are Latin words, which mean ‘Swifter,
Higher and Stronger’.
They were composed in 1897 by Rev. Father Didon, a friend of Baron
Pierre de Coubertin, and introduced in the 1920 games for the first time.
The emblem in composed of five intertwined rings, each of a different
colour, representing five continents of the world, placed at the centre of
the Olympic Flag.
Colour of Ring Continent Represented
Blue ring Europe
Yellow ring Asia
Black ring Africa
Red ring America
Green ring Oceania
The Olympic flag is white in colour (originally made of cotton), 3m x 2m.
The emblem placed in the middle is 206cm x 60 cm. The flag was
designed by Coubertin himself in 1913 and it was first hosted in 1920 at
the Antwerp Games and the motto was then added to it.
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take
part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the
struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought
An athlete of the host country recites the following at the opening
ceremony. “In the name of all competitors, I promise that we will take
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part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which
govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship for the glory of sport and
the honour of our terms”. Both the oath and the creed were composed by
Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of modern Olympics.
The Olympic flame symbolizes the continuity between the ancient and the
modern Olympics. The Olympic flame was lighted for the first time in
1928 at the Amsterdam stadium and since then the practice has
The torch used to kindle the flame is first lit by the sun’s rays at the
shrine of Zeus (Greece). It is then carried overland by a relay of runners
to the site of the games and placed in bowl where it burns during the
period of the Games.
The Olympic Torch Relay:
The practice of Torch Relay from Olympia (Greece) to the venue of the
Games was first introduced by German Olympic Committee for the Berlin
Games in a 1936 and has since become part of the Olympic games.
The Olympic Mascot:
It was introduced in 1972 at the 20th Olympics Games held at Munich and
since then an Olympic Mascot is selected for a particular year and venue.
The following have been the Mascots so far:
The Olympic Awards and Certificates:
Originally, the meat of the sacrificed animal was offered as prizes to the
winners, which was subsequently replaced by a crown of olive branches.
However, in modern Olympics, winners are awarded medals and
certificates. There are three medals for the first three top positions.
I Prize Gold Medal
II Prize Silver Medal
III Prize Bronze Medal
For the fourth, fifth sixth, seventh and eight position only certificates are
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The medal is about 60 mm in diameter and 3 mm in thickness. The Gold
and Silver medals are both made of 92.5% pure silver. However, the Gold
medal is plated with 6 gm of pure gold. The third position medal is made
In addition to prizes given to athletes, there are certain awards and
trophies which are awarded to those who promote the cause of Olympics.
The Olympic Order:
Instituted in 1974, the Olympic Order in gold, silver or bronze decoration
is awarded to a person who has rendered outstanding services or
displayed the Olympic ideals.
Mrs. India Gandhi was awarded this Order in 1983 by the IOC for her
contribution to the organization of the New Delhi Asiad (1982).
The Olympic Cup Instituted in 1906 by Coubertin. Its reproduction is
awarded to an institution which contributes to the development of sports
in general and the Olympic movement in particular. The Original cup
remains at the Chateau de Vivy in France.
Sir Thomas Fearnley Cup Is awarded to a club or a local sport
association for remarkable achievement in the service of the Olympics. It
was instituted in 1950 by Sir Thomas Fearnley, a former IOC member.
Mohammed Toher Trophy Awarded to an amateur athlete, not
necessarily an Olympian. It was instituted in 1950 by the former IOC
member Mohammed Toher.
Count Alberto Bonacossa Trophy Awarded to a National Olympic
Committee for outstanding work. It was instituted in 1954 by the Italian
National Olympic Committee in honour of its IOC member Count Alberto
Tokyo Trophy It is given for exemplary conduct displayed by an athlete
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during the Games. It was instituted in 1964 and presented by Tokyo City.
Winter Olympics the Winter Olympics commenced in 1924 when the first
games were held in Chamonix, France. Since then these games are held
at an interval of four years in the same calendar year as the Summer
The Winter Games include: Ice hockey, Skating, Speed Skating, Alpine
Skiing, biathlon, etc.