Why are Olympic Games held every four years?

Tokyo 2020: While there's been a five-year gap between the 2016 Rio Games and the upcoming edition in Tokyo, Olympics are traditionally held once every four years. Here is why.

In the modern era, the Olympic Games are held at a four-year interval out of respect to the ancient tradition of the games held at the same interval in the ancient Greek site of Olympia.   -  REUTERS

The history of the Olympic Games dates back 3000 years to the Peloponnese in Ancient Greece. Situated in the Peloponnese peninsula, Olympia is an ancient site, where the first Olympics games were held in 776 BC. Since then, the ancient site of Olympia used to host the games every four years right up to 393 AD. This four-year interval is known as the ‘Olympiad.’

Why is the Olympics a once-in-four-years event? Sportstar finds out.

The games came to a stop after 393 AD. It was not until 1894 when French educator and historian Charles Pierre de Fredy, Baron de Coubertin, popularly known as Pierre de Coubertin launched his initiative to revive the Olympic Games and founded the International Olympics Committee. Thus, the first games of the modern era were held in Athens in 1896.

In the modern era, the Olympic Games are held at a four-year interval out of respect to the ancient tradition of the games held at the same interval in the ancient Greek site of Olympia.

The four-year interval, known as the ‘Olympiad’ was a term used to calculate time. So, at the time, time was counted in Olympiads instead of years. 

Today, the cycle of an Olympiad begins on the first day of January of the first year and ends on the thirty-first of December in the fourth year.

The Summer Games in Tokyo is being held after a gap of five years instead of four due to the coronavirus pandemic - the first edition of the Games to be rescheduled.

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