Two plus two still makes four.

Listen&Learn: The Ancient Olympic Games

Jaksyn Peacock
Learn about the origin of the world’s most popular sports competition.
Ancient Olympics

Pre-listening vocabulary

  • athletic: relating to sports
  • honour: to show respect for someone or something
  • ban: to declare that something is not allowed
  • modern: new; in the present
  • host: to provide the location for an event

Listening activity

Gapfill exercise

The Olympic Games originated in ancient Greece in 776 B.C. Every four years, the city of Olympia would hold athletic to honour Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. These competitions were to any men who wanted to participate. The ancient Greeks held the competitions until 393 A.D., when they were banned by a Roman emperor named Theodosius I. Over 1500 years later, a man named Pierre de Coubertin decided to a modern version of the Olympic Games. The first took place in Athens, Greece in 1896. After that, around the world began to take turns hosting the Olympics. Today, athletes from over 200 countries participate in the Olympics every two years.

Comprehension questions

1. The ancient Olympic Games were held in

Correct! Wrong!

The ancient Olympic Games were held in Olympia, Greece.

2. The ancient Greeks held the Olympics to honour

Correct! Wrong!

The ancient Greeks held the Olympics to honour Zeus, king of the Greek gods.

3. The ancient Olympic Games were banned in

Correct! Wrong!

The ancient Olympic Games were banned in 393 A.D.

Discussion/essay questions

  1. Do you like to watch the Olympic Games? What are your favourite sports to watch?
  2. Why do you think so many people around the world are interested in watching the Olympics?

Transcript

The Olympic Games originated in ancient Greece in 776 B.C. Every four years, the city of Olympia would hold athletic competitions to honour Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. These competitions were open to any men who wanted to participate. The ancient Greeks held the competitions until 393 A.D., when they were banned by a Roman emperor named Theodosius I. Over 1500 years later, a man named Pierre de Coubertin decided to organize a modern version of the Olympic Games. The first event took place in Athens, Greece in 1896. After that, cities around the world began to take turns hosting the Olympics. Today, athletes from over 200 countries participate in the Olympics every two years. 

Written and recorded by Jaksyn Peacock for EnglishClub

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