The Olympics

The Olympic Games has both a modern and an ancient history. It has also expanded to be separate Winter and Summer Olympics with a Paralympics for disabled people. Events have changed over the era of the modern Olympics and continue to change.

The Ancient Olympics ran for over a millenium, finishing in 393 BCE. The modern Olympics began in 1896. Separate Winter and Summer Olympics in different years commenced in 1994. They were previously held in the same year. Australia and Greece are the only countries to have attended all summer games.

This page looks at The Olympic Movement internationally and in Australia, The Modern Olympics, athletes, drug problems, major incidents, more.

The Second Page looks at The Ancient Olympics, Winter Olympics, Paralympics, Mascots & Symbols, media and other information including education materials.

This information is left available for use as required and will be fully updated as future Olympic Games approach.

Modern Olympics

Australian Olympic Committees

  • Australian Olympic Committee
    ‘The official website of the Australian Olympic Committee’. Includes education, Sports [summer, winter and discontinued], athletes & coaches, multimedia gallery and more.
  • Australian Youth Olympic Festival
    The Australian Youth Olympic Festival [AYOF] is run by the Australian Olympic Committee and leads into the Youth Olympics. For more on these, scroll down this page then use the links to find information on specific games.
  • Rio 2016
    All the information about the Australian team, preparations and more.

International Olympic Movement

The governing body that runs the Olympics and all involved with this including the Presidents of the IOC.

  • Documents
    ‘List of all documents published on [the International Olympics Committee] website. Contains major reports, studies, publications and information regarding the Olympic Movement’.
  • Olympic Values Education Program
    ‘A series of free and accessible teaching resources that have been created by the IOC. Using the context of Olympic sports and the core principles of Olympism, participants are encouraged to experience values-based learning and to assume the responsibilities of good citizenship’.
  • News
    ‘Find news including events, calendars and live results from sporting events’.
  • Olympic Medal Records
    Download Olympic medal details for a range of sports. Find Winter Olympic Medal Records here.
  • Philatelic and Numismatic Programs
    ‘Organising Committees also run philatelic and numismatic programs that benefit the Olympic Movement’.
  • The International Olympic Committee
    ‘The IOC guarantees the promotion of Olympism and the smooth running of the Games in accordance with the Olympic Charter. Discover in detail the structures, missions and financing of this prominent institution’.
  • Youth Olympic Games
    You can also find a range of Documents here.
  • Video Galleries
    A range of visual presentations.

Modern Olympics

Tokyo 2021

Previously planned for 2020, but postponed due to the Covid pandemic. At this time, it will run in 2021 unless the Olympic Committee is forced to implement further changes.

Lillehammer, 2016

Rio de Janeiro, 2016

  • Rio 2016
    The ‘Australian Olympic Committee’ site for these games.
  • Olympic Games
    Information is found here, while a listing of the Olympic Sports is provided here.
  • Rio de Janeiro 2016
    ‘Official website of the Olympic Movement’ for the summer Olympics and the Paralympics.

Other Olympics

Sites of the Modern Olympics

  • Candidate Cities for Future Olympic Games
    ‘This is a list of potential candidate cities for future Olympic Games, and other Olympic-Related games. Some have been confirmed and have official websites, most are either rumours or cities that are contemplating’. Extends to 2024.
  • Future Host Election
    Infographic, process information, news, events, more.
  • GamesBids
    ‘The purpose of our publication is to keep readers independently informed and up-to-date with information about the Olympic Bid process and candidate city bids from around the world. Bids have a major impact on the future of the bid cities and it is important that everyone be informed and involved’.

Top of Page

The Bumpy Road to The Olympics

Boycotts, Scandals, Obstacles & Disasters. This does not include those on drug use, which you will find in a section below.


  • 1976 Montreal Olympics Boycott
    ‘The 1976 Montreal Olympic games were quite controversial as they were marred with boycotts, due to the fact that New Zealand was taking part within the Olympics after creating ties with South Africa which was in an apartheid era’.
  • A History of Boycotts of the Olympic Games
    Covers a range of boycotts, and proposed boycotts, up till 2014.
  • 1980 Summer Olympics Boycott
    ‘The American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow was a part of a package of actions to protest against the December 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan’. An alternative event called the Liberty Bell Classic was held in Philadelphia, USA. Wikipedia.
  • Olympic Boycott Games
    ‘Alternative events were arranged for those nations boycotting the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Games’. The results for each are provided here.
  • 1984 Summer Olympics Boycott
    This ‘followed the American-led boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow’. 14 Eastern Bloc countries boycotted the games. A separate games, called the Druzhba [Friendship] Games were held. Wikipedia.

Cancelled Games

  • 1916 Summer Olympics
    Basic information on these games, which did not go ahead because of World War I. Originally to have been held in Berlin. Their organisation continued for some time as it was not believed the war would last that long. Wikipedia.
  • 1940 Summer Olympics
    Basic information on these games, which did not go ahead because of World War II. Originally to have been held in Tokyo, they were transferred to Helsinki before being cancelled. Wikipedia.
  • 1944 Summer Olympics
    Basic information on these games, which did not go ahead because of World War II. Originally to have been held in London, which gained the 1948 games without an election being held. Wikipedia.

Other Information

  • Civil Disobedience
    ‘The photographs of two black American sprinters standing on the medal podium with heads bowed and fists raised at the Mexico City Games in 1968 not only represent one of the most memorable moments in Olympic history but a milestone in America’s civil rights movement’.
  • Cheating at the Paralympic Games
    ‘Cheating at the Paralympic Games has caused scandals that have significantly changed the way in which the International Paralympic Committee run the events. Testing for performance/enhancing drugs has become stricter and more widespread throughout the Games, with powerlifting seeing the most positive results. Competitors without disabilities have also competed in some Paralympic Games’. Wikipedia.
  • List of stripped Olympic Medals
    ‘The International Olympic Committee [IOC] is the governing body that can rule when athletes are in violation of rules in the Olympic Games. Nearly all of the stripped medals involve infractions stemming from doping and drug testing’. A few have been returned, e.g. Jim Thorpe [70 years later, and after he had died].
  • Munich Massacre
    ‘The Munich massacre occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by Black September. By the end of the ordeal, the terrorist group had murdered eleven Israeli athletes and coaches and one German police officer. Five of the eight terrorists were killed by police officers during an abortive rescue attempt’. Wikipedia.
  • 1904 Marathon
    Strychnine, travelling by car, some chased away from the race by dogs and this was only part of the fiasco. Another site covering the same topic is Olympic Follies, sub-titled ‘Amateur glory of Olympics in the early twentieth century upheld in wacky marathon’.
  • Olympic Torch Protest [2008]
    News, links to additional sites, video and more.
  • Winter Olympic Bid Scandal 2002
    Extensive details, from previous unsuccessful bids, with links to further information. Wikipedia.

Drugs and the Olympics

Includes information about drugs, the bodies designed to catch users and some known examples of drug usage.


  • Court of Arbitration for Sport
    ‘The Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] is an institution independent of any sports organisation which provides for services in order to facilitate the settlement of sports-related disputes through arbitration or mediation by means of procedural rules adapted to the specific needs of the sports world’. Covers appeals against suspensions for drug-related offences as well as other areas.
  • Sport Integrity Australia
    ‘We are a new organisation combining the functions of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, the National Integrity of Sport Unit and the nationally focused integrity functions of Sport Australia’. Check the Publications/Forms & Education of the Resources [top menu] for lesson material.
  • World Anti-Doping Agency
    ‘Established on 10 November 1999 in Lausanne to promote and co-ordinate the fight against doping in sport internationally. WADA was set up as a foundation under the initiative of the IOC’. A second site for information can be found at Wikipedia.

General Information

  • 10 Biggest Doping Scandals in Olympics History
    ‘Here are some of the biggest doping scandals in modern Olympics history’.
  • Anti-Doping Resources
  • Doping at the OlympicGames
    ‘The International Olympic Committee introduced the first doping controls at the Olympic Games in 1968. Here is the list of all the athletes disqualified from the Games for failing drug tests, with the indication of the withdrawn medal[s], if any’.
  • Doping in Sport
    While covering many areas, it covers several related to the Olympics, including the use of strychnine in 1904, the use of benzedrine [suggested at the 1936 Berlin Olympics], testosterone and steroids in weightlifting as early as the 1950s, the case of East German athletes, the 2002 Winter Olympics and more. Wikipedia.
  • Drugs in Sport
    ‘Modern sport is plagued by suspicions that many top athletes resort to drug-taking - doping - to enhance their performance, but this is not a new phenomenon. Its origins can be traced as far back as the ancient Olympics’.
  • IAAF provisionally suspends Russian Member Federation [ARAF]
    While there is a chance Russian athletes will be able to compete at this year’s Olympic Games, there is considerable doubt as a result of this suspension.

Specific Instances

  • Ben Johnson
    Probably the most famous doping case until recent years. Covers complete background to the discovery and events that followed. Additional references and external links. Wikipedia.
  • Marion Jones
    Covers her career, the use of drugs, other difficulties, achievements, notes, references and links to further information. You could also use this site for a briefer presentation.
  • Sun Yang : Chinese swimmer handed 8-year ban
    ‘China’s Sun Yang has been handed an eight-year ban from swimming the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS]’.

Top of Page


Famous Olympians

A limited collection of notable Olympians. Those included not only gained outstanding achievement, but made a lasting imprint because of who they are/were and what he/she did. Present day athletes are not included as they will be covered at the time of the Olympics.


Ancient Olympics

Modern Olympics

Medal Winners

  • Olympic Games Medallists
    ‘This compilation includes a complete list of medallists in all sports [those no longer on the program are in italics]. In 1896 and 1900 winners were awarded Silver medals and runners-up Copper or Bronze medals [with no awards for third], however are still shown as Gold, Silver and Bronze medallists for consistency with later years. The status of many events held in 1900 and 1904 is questionable’.
  • Olympic Results
    From the IOC. ‘Your source for event results and medallists from every Olympic Games’.
  • Summer Olympics Legends
    Online Reading lessons, with an online book covering 5 famous Olympians [limited vocabulary] and lesson plans.

Top of Page

× Calendar Competitions Conferences Curriculum Education Resources Site Information Special Pages Teachers Tertiary Updates & Changes