A World Tour of Olympic Cities

A World Tour of Olympic Cities

Legend has it that the Olympic Games were founded by Heracles who was the son of the God Zeus. Although records survive that show Olympic Games took place in 776 BCE it is thought that they were already well established by that time and had been going on for quite a number of years. For nearly 1200 years, the Olympic Games took place every four years until a killjoy Christian Roman Emperor called Theodosius I abolished them due to their pagan influences.

It wasn’t until 1500 years later that a young Frenchman called Pierre de Coubertin suggested that the Olympic Games should be revived. Although he wasn’t the first to suggest such an idea, he was the first with the right connections and influences to actually make it happen. In 1894 Coubertin pitched his idea for a modern Olympic Games to 79 delegates from 9 different countries and in that meeting a unanimous vote for the revival of the Olympic Games was cast. At the same meeting the delegates also voted for Coubertin to create an International Committee to organise the Games. Coubertin did so and this became the IOC, the Comite Internationale Olympique. The rest as they say, is history and the first modern Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece two years later.

Since then there have been 27 Summer Olympic Games held. There would have been 30 but the 1916 games, scheduled to be held in Berlin, Germany were not held due to the First World War. Similarly the two Olympic Games which were scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan in 1940 and in London, United Kingdom in 1944 were also not held, this time due to the Second World War, although London did hold the first games to take place after the war in 1948.

There have been four cities that have hosted the Summer Olympic Games more than once: Athens in 1896 and 2004, Paris in 1900 and 1924, London in 1908, 1948 and 2012 and Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984. As you can see, London is the first city to host the Summer Olympic Games three times but this shouldn’t have been the case as the 1908 games were originally awarded to Rome in Italy, but the eruption of Mount Vesuvius caused them to be moved. Athens have also hosted Games three times but the ones held in 1906 are not recognised by the IOC as an official event and so do not appear on the list. The country to hold the most Summer Olympic Games so far is the United States of America who have hosted four Summer Olympics: St. Louis in 1904, which originally was awarded to Chicago but the venue was moved to St. Louis to coincide with the staging of the World’s Fair, Los Angeles in 1932 and 1984 and Atlanta in 1996.

If you were to embark on a tour of the Olympic Cities you certainly would have some travelling to do and although most of it would take place in North America and Europe as those are the two continents where most of the Summer Games have been held, you would also end up travelling into Asia and South America and Australia too. If you want to start planning your itinerary here is a list of all of the Summer Games scheduled to have been held from the revival of the modern Olympic Games in 1896.

1896 – Athens, Greece
1900 – Paris, France
1904 – St. Louis, USA
1908 – London, United Kingdom
1912 – Stockholm, Sweden
1916 – Berlin, Germany (cancelled due to the First World War)
1920 – Antwerp, Belgium
1924 – Paris, France
1928 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
1932 – Los Angeles, USA
1936 – Berlin, Germany
1940 – Tokyo, Japan (cancelled due to the Second World War)
1944 – London, United Kingdom (cancelled due to the Second World War)
1948 – London, United Kingdom
1952 – Helsinki, Finland
1956 – Melbourne, Australia
1960 – Rome, Italy
1964 – Tokyo, Japan
1968 – Mexico City, Mexico
1972 – Munich, West Germany
1976 – Montreal, Canada
1980 – Moscow, USSR
1984 – Los Angeles, USA
1988 – Seoul, South Korea
1992 – Barcelona, Spain
1996 – Atlanta, USA
2000 – Sydney, Australia
2004 – Athens, Greece
2008 – Beijing, China
2012 – London, UK
2016 – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

At the time of writing this, the selection process is underway for the 2020 Olympic Games. The final three candidates have been announced and they are Istanbul, Turkey; Tokyo, Japan; and Madrid, Spain. The final selection will take place in September 2013

If you want to add to your tour by including the Winter Olympic venues as well, then you will also need to add the following to your trip:

1924 – Chamonix, France
1928 – St. Moritz, Switzerland
1932 – Lake Placid, New York, USA
1936 – Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
1940 – Sapporo, Japan (cancelled due to the Second World War)
1944 – Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy (cancelled due to the Second World War)
1948 – St. Moritz, Switzerland
1952 – Oslo, Norway
1956 – Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy
1960 – Squaw Valley, California, USA
1964 – Innsbruck, Austria
1968 – Grenoble, France
1972 – Sapporo, Japan
1976 – Innsbruck, Austria
1980 – Lake Placid, New York, USA
1984 – Sarajevo, Yugoslavia (now Bosnia Herzegovina)
1988 – Calgary, Alberta, Canada

1992 – Albertville, France
1994 – Lillehammer, Norway

The two Winter Olympics Games above took place two years apart as this is when they transitioned from taking place during the same year as the Summer Olympic Games to the even numbered years inbetween.

1998 – Nagano, Japan
2002 – Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
2006 – Torino (Turin), Italy
2010 – Vancouver, Canada
2014 – Sochi, Russia
2020 – Pyeongchang, South Korea

If you get moving I think you could probably plan a four year tour of all the cities of the Olympic Games and end it by getting hold of tickets for some of the Summer Olympics events in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Now that would be a perfect ending to a fantastic World tour of Olympic cities.

Hello everyone, I’m Anthony Jackson, a passionate traveler always eager to explore the fascinating corners of our world. I joined this team with a mission to share my travel experiences and tips, aiming to provide you with memorable and exciting journeys.
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