The ancient Olympics, as understood, were held every 4 years, during a religious festival honoring the Greek god Zeus. The Games were banned after 393AD by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. to suppress paganism in the Roman Empire. Some 1,500 years later, French baron, Pierre de Coubertin fought to resurrect the Games, arguing the nation’s lack of physical education for the masses led to his nation defeat in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 spearheaded by Otto von Bismarck. 

The first modern Olympics was held in Athens in 1896. Following the fall of Constantinople (present day Istanbul) in 1453, Greece was under the control of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. It was explained, "The Ottoman state was a theocracy and its political system was based on hierarchy with the Sultan at the top, having absolute divine rights." It wasn't until 1829, Greece was recognized as an independent state after the Greek Revolution of 1821 (also known as War of Independence) which brought 400 years of Ottoman occupation to an end. 

The assassination of Kapodistrias in Nafplion was said to have paved the way for Bavarian Prince Otto to become King of Greece - until 1862, when he was reportedly "exiled for ignoring the Greek Constitution. The next king was Danish, King George I who ruled the country for 50 years and brought stability and a new Constitution which specified the monarchic powers." 

Sonia O’Sullivan of 'The Irish Times' told readers in 2016, "Atlanta – the mere mention of it stirs up some strange memories for me. It was a time in my life when nothing went to plan, and it's hard even thinking back because so many of the details are still fuzzy, or else erased from my mind completely. I had to park so much of what happened in Atlanta because that was my way of moving on, not that I didn't learn a lot from that time. It was a slow process, but I eventually accepted it, locked up so many of those memories, and then threw away the key."

"Twenty summers ago," Kabir Sehgal told 'Fortune' readers in 2016, "my sister and I had the experience of a lifetime. We ran the Olympic torch in Atlanta, Georgia, she passing it to me on July 18, the day before the opening ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Because my family was involved in helping the city win the bid to host the games, not only were we afforded this unique opportunity but got to see the inner-workings of how the games were organized.

"While these games were formative for me as a young person, they were also transformational for Atlanta … Indeed, Atlanta’s Olympics were mostly privately funded, profitable, and made a positive and lasting economic impact. Atlanta’s 1996 games had local buy-in from the beginning. That’s because the dream to host the games didn’t originate from a government official but private citizen, real estate lawyer Billy Payne, in 1987.

"He went around the city, drumming up support for the games, eventually enlisting the help of then-mayor Andrew Young. Atlanta’s bid for the games cost $7.3 million, which was the least among all but one of the finalist cities like Athens and Melbourne, and most of the funds came from corporations and private citizens … As a matter of civic pride, local companies added a section to their bills so that customers could 'opt in' to fund the city’s Olympic bid.

"Because it was a locally-inspired and led initiative, Atlantans took pride and arguably helped win the games with their 'y'all come back now' Southern hospitality … When Atlanta won the bid in 1990 to host the Olympics, I was in elementary school, and my teacher had turned on 'ABC News' with Peter Jennings, who was delivering the news. 'We won', exclaimed my teacher and classmates, as we jumped in the air. People outside started to honk their horns outside with glee.

"Because the bid was privately conceived and funded, the games were never perceived as a 'top down' idea of policy makers, but a 'bottom up' grassroots movement. 'The real legacy of the games is that the people of Atlanta felt for themselves the legacy of possibility. We can do anything we set our minds to,' Payne said following the games … Atlanta’s 1996 games cost about $1.7 billion.

"While government funds were used for infrastructure improvements, much of the capital came from the private sector: Corporate sponsorships added more than $540 million to the coffers; ticket revenue generated more than $420 million; and television rights were sold for hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, Centennial Olympic Park, which replaced a downtrodden area, has become a crown jewel of Atlanta, and it was funded with $75 million in private donations.

"The games also resulted in a $10 million profit. Even though there wasn’t a material uptick in economic activity during the games, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce assessed that the Olympics generated $5.14 billion of impact. And the games were an amazing branding initiative, as billions around the world watched the games. Before the games, people confused Atlanta with Atlantic City. Not anymore."

Back in 2012, Maria Michta described village life to followers as she experienced during the 2012 Summer Games, "Olympic Village is much more of a laid back, subdued college campus kind of feel where the dress code is athletic casual and everyone has enormous 'school' pride … Once inside you can view the athlete living quarters, walk around, perhaps be lucky to catch a glimpse of someone famous and of course take a tourist picture under the giant Olympic rings.

"If you were planning on eating in the dining hall be ready to shell out 20 pounds for the largest cafeteria style buffet you will ever witness. The McDonalds in the Village is free all day all the time to the athletes. Other than that its a place to call home for about 2 weeks, a place to come back to after training sessions, a places to gab with one another between events while watching on TV fellow teammates and countrymen compete, it’s a place to 'relax' while nervously contemplating one's upcoming performance.

"In addition to eating, the cafeteria serves as a social gathering where if one chooses you can meet with other teammates, countrymen, or anyone from any team from any country. The easiest way to start a congo (conversation) is by swapping pins. Almost every country gives their athletes pins that represent their country and or event at the Games.

"The purpose is to trade one's pins with other athletes from all over the world. I have thoroughly enjoyed the pin swapping aspect and have pins from about 26 different countries! I also have a few from other USA Teams such as gymnastics! Pins are a big thing here at the Olympic Games and it's not just athletes in the Village but spectators and staff workers too that get in on the pin trading action. Also various IOC Olympic Games Partners and Sponsors give out their pins to the athletes and spectators alike.

"Aside from sleeping, eating, and trading pins there is not much else to do in the Village. Then there is an athlete lounge that has some more TVs, couches, computers and even pool tables. They also have a life size jenga and other games that athletes can play. At the Powerade Bar you can get free drinks (that is Powerade or water). Oops I almost forgot one more thing you can do here in the Village: Laundry! Well actually the athletes themselves don’t have to actually do the wash, nope they spoil us and do it for us, for free! I have already had three loads of my stuff washed here. They wash and dry it automatically which means some of the nice athletic gear I got will have to wait to go home to wash, can’t go ruining my new clothes in the dryer!

"The exciting stuff is really what’s unfolding around the park at the venues. It’s the goals scored, the points earned, the landings stuck, the jumps cleared, it’s the save made or the one that got by, the head to head battles, the behind the scenes smiles, waves, and tears, it’s the anthems played, the medals hung, the flags raised, those are the moments that make the Olympics, that’s where all the real action, excitement, and drama is!"

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