There have been 25 Olympic Games since its inception in 1896 at Athens, Greece. Except for three occasions, the Olympic Games have been successfully held across the globe.
The Modern Olympic Games began from the year 1896 and were held in Athens, Greece, the place of birth of Olympics. It was the efforts of French educator Baron Pierre de Coubertin and others that led to the revival of the Olympic event. The Olympic Games have since been held successfully twenty five times, with the last Olympic Games also happening in Athens in 2004. The Games were successfully held after a gap of four years but it was only on three occasions that the Olympic Games could not be held. These were the warring periods in the history of modern world. In the year 1916, 1940 and 1944 the Olympic Games could not take place due to the destruction and devastation caused by the 1st and 2nd World Wars. The XXIX Olympiad is now all set to take place in Beijing from 8th August 2008 to 24th August 2008. Given below is the chronology of the modern Olympic Games.
- Athens, 1896 - The first Modern Olympic Games were held in the place of birth of the Olympics.
- Paris, 1900 - Women took part for the first time in the history of modern Olympics.
- St Louis, 1904 - These were the first modern Olympic Games, where gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded for first, second and third prize respectively.
- London, 1908 - Athletes from 22 nations represented their respective countries at the Olympic Games.
- Stockholm, 1912 - At these games, for the first time competitors came from all five continents symbolized in the Olympic rings.
- Antwerp, 1920 - The Olympic Games at Antwerp, Belgium had several firsts. For the first time the Olympic oath was uttered, the Olympic flag hoisted and doves released to symbolize peace.
- Paris, 1924 - The VIII Olympiad were the last ones to be organized under the presidency of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of modern Olympics.
- Amsterdam, 1928 - These games were the first to bear the name Summer Olympic Games and the Olympic torch was also lit for the first time.
- Los Angeles, 1932 - Colombia and the Republic of China made their first appearances at the Olympic Games.
- Berlin, 1936 - Jesse Owens, an African-American athlete in the times of racial discrimination, became the star of the Games and won four gold medals in the sprint and long jump events.
- London, 1948 - The XIV Olympiad was officially opened by King George VI.
- Helsinki, 1952 - At the 1952 Olympic Games, for the first time a team from USSR participated.
- Melbourne / Stockholm, 1956 - The Olympic Games were celebrated in Melbourne, Australia. However the equestrian events were held five months earlier in Stockholm, Sweden due to quarantine regulations in Australia.
- Rome, 1960 - At the Rome Olympics, Soviets won 15 of the 16 possible medals in women's gymnastics.
- Tokyo, 1964 - Sixteen nations made their first appearance in the Tokyo Olympics.
- Mexico, 1968 - These are the only Olympic Games held in Latin America. Also at these games, East and West Germany send their separate teams for the first time.
- Munich, 1972 - The Games were marred by the Munich massacre. On September 5, 1972 Palestinian terrorists belonging to the Black September Organization abducted eleven Israeli athletes from the Games Village and subsequently killed them.
- Montreal, 1976 - The Games were officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II and several of the members of the royal family of Britain were present on the occasion. Also owing to the Munich massacre, the security arrangements were very tight.
- Moscow, 1980 - The USA boycotted the Games as a protest to USSR's invasion of Afghanistan.
- Los Angeles ,1984 - Owing to the American boycott of the 1980 Olympic Games, Soviet and other Eastern bloc countries including Cuba, East Germany and others also boycotted the Los Angeles Games.
- Seoul, 1988 - Guam, Maldives, Cook Islands, Aruba, American Samoa, Vanuatu, Saint Vincent, Grenadines and South Yemen participated in the Olympic Games for the first time at the Seoul Olympics.
- Barcelona ,1992 - With the exception of Afghanistan, it was for the first time since 1972 Munich Olympics that all the IOC countries participated in the Games.
- Atlanta, 1996 - Twenty four countries made their Olympic debut this year. The Games were also affected by violence as on July 27, 1996 the Centennial Olympic Park was bombed killing two and wounding 111 others.
- Sydney, 2000 - The 'Millennium Games' or the 'Games of the New Millennium' generated much interest world wide and the host city Sydney also won the 'Pierre de Coubertin Trophy', in recognition of the collaboration and happiness shown by the people of Sydney during the event.
- Athens, 2004 - At the Athens Olympic Games all the 202 nations affiliated to the International Olympic Committee participated at the Games. The Athenians put up a spectacular cultural show and fireworks during the opening and closing ceremonies.
- Beijing, 2008 - The Beijing Olympics are due to be held from August 8th to August 24th. The Games will be co-hosted by six other cities of People's Republic of China.