It is believed that the Olympic Games originated as early as 1370 B.C. The earliest recorded Olympic Game was held in 776 B.C. In 393 A.D. the Games were banned by order of the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, "the Great", and not held again until April 6, 1896 in Athens. The Games have been held every 4 years since. This year's Summer Games will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Only five countries have participated in each of the Olympic Games. Take a guess which. You'll find the answer on this page.
What is it about today's modern Games that drives every participant to dedicate his/her life to this one event? To be the best in the world'? To win gold for their country? To stand proudly on the podium and watch as his/her flag is raised to their national anthem? To get that endorsement contract with Adidas or Puma worth millions? In the ancient Olympic Games the winners received a crown of wild olive leaves.
Women's pole-vaulting? Yes, it is a sporting event, however it's not likely to be an Olympic sport for several years...there is an unwritten law that before an event can be included in the Olympics at least half the member nations should hold their own championships in that particular discipline. In Europe only a quarter of the nations organize women's pole-vaulting competitions. The current world champion is Czech Daniela Bartova.
Mark Spitz (USA) won a record seven golds at the Munich Games in 1972. The only man to win a gold medal in both Summer and Winter Games is Edward Patrick Francis Eagan (USA:1898-1967) who won the the 1920 light-heavyweight boxing title and was a member of the winning four-man bobsled in 1932. Christa Luding (East Germany) became the first woman to win a medal at both Summer and Winter games when she won a silver medal in the cycle sprint in 1988. She won the gold medal for the 500 meters speed skating in 1984, while in 1988 she won gold again for the 1,000 meters, as well as taking silver in the 500 meters. The youngest-ever winner was a French boy (7-10 years old ) whose name was never recorded. He coxed the Netherlands pair in rowing in 1900. The youngest female champ was Marjorie Gestring (USA) who at the age of 13 years 268 days won the women's springboard diving event in 1936. The oldest medal winner was Oscar Swahn (Sweden) who won silver in 1920. His event was the Running Deer Shooting Team, his age ... 72 years 280 days.
ROAD TO GOLD by Frank Lupacchino
Now that baseball has become an Olympic sport, Little League will play a major role in developing players in Poland for future national or Olympic teams, both in baseball and softball, which will represent their country. The current problem with national teams from Europe that represent their country in toumaments or federation championships is that most players have had very few years of experience in playing baseball or softball, and many of them only started playing for the first time when they were teenagers or older, which means some players only have 5-8 years experience before they are eligible for their national teams.
Using Little League as a building foundation, and with the many leagues now established in Poland, youngsters now have the opportunity to gain 15-20 years experience before they are selected for their Polish national teams. The competition and skill levels of the Polish children in Little League are becoming very evident. As the Polish Little League teams compete in our European baseball and softball championships, each year the teams advance in the final standings in tournament play and now usually finish in the top 6 of the 14 teams that participate in the tournament. The future is bright for the Polish Little League programs, and within a matter of a few years they will become champions of Europe and will participate in the Little League World Series in the United States... and then who knows, Gold in Olympics 2008'?
The Little League program in Poland will become even stronger through the development of a multi-million $ baseball/softball sports complex in Kutno. This complex will have seven baseball/softball fields, an office building, dormitories, dining facilities, a conference/training center, basketball/tennis courts and a swimming pool.
Australia, France, Greece, Great Britain and Switzerland.