The origin of the Olympic Games was in Greece. The first Games took place in a valley called 'Olympia' and the Games got their name from this place. In those days the Games took place every four years and they lasted for five days. During the five days there were athletics competitions and competitions in music and poetry. The original Olympic Games were only for men.
The Modern Olympic Games began in 1896 when a Frenchman, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, decided to organise international Olympic Games. He thought that athletics were important for forming a person's character. He also thought the Games could help world peace. The first modern Olympic Games took place in 1897 in Athens, the capital of Greece. Women began to compete in 1900. Most competitors in the Games are amateurs. They take part for fun and for a love of sport - not for money. There are no prizes, only medals.