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The Olympiad

In antiquity, Greeks measured time in terms of four-year periods: the Olympiads. When the Olympic games were revived in modern times, the term "Olympiad" and its four-year cycle were were also revived to further link the modern Olympics to their ancient roots.

The Definition of an Olympiad
An Olympiad is a period of four years, the beginning of which is marked by the cele­bra­tion of the Olympic games. Each Olympiad is designated by Roman numerals. The first modern Olympiad was celebrated by the 1896 Athens games. The 1996 Atlanta games, for instance, were "The Games of the XXVI Olympiad." The 2004 Athens Games will be The Games of the XXVIII Olympiad.

The year in which the Olympic games are to be held cannot be changed. If the Games are canceled for any reason, the number of the Olympiad remains. Although World War I preempted the 1916 Games, the period from 1916 to 1920 remains the VI Olympiad of the modern era. The term Olympiad does not apply to the Olympic Winter Games. Only the so-called "summer" Games are the Games of the Olympiad. The Winter Games are referred to only by numeral. Thus, the 2002 Salt Lake City Games were the XIX Olympic Winter Games. The phrases Summer and Winter Olympics are commonly used, but they are technically incorrect references to the Games of the Olympiad and the Olympic Winter Games.

The following is a list of the Olympiads of the modern era and a list of the Olympic Winter Games.

The Games of the Olympiads

I 1896 Athens, Greece
II 1900 Paris, France
III 1904 St. Louis, U.S.A.
IV 1908 London, England
V 1912 Stockholm, Sweden
VI 1916 Canceled due to W.W.I
VII 1920 Antwerp, Belgium
VIII 1924 Paris, France
IX 1928 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
X 1932 Los Angeles, U.S.A.
XI 1936 Berlin, Germany
XII 1940 Canceled due to W.W. II
XIII 1944 Canceled due to W.W. II
XIV 1948 London, England
XV 1952 Helsinki, Finland
XVI 1956 Melbourne, Australia
XVII 1960 Rome, Italy
XVIII 1964 Tokyo, Japan
XIX 1968 Mexico City, Mexico
XX 1972 Munich, Germany
XXI 1976 Montreal, Canada
XXII 1980 Moscow, U.S.S.R.
XXIII 1984 Los Angeles, U.S.A.
XXIV 1988 Seoul, South Korea
XXV 1992 Barcelona, Spain
XXVI 1996 Atlanta, U.S.A.
XIX 1968 Mexico City, Mexico
XX 1972 Munich, Germany
XXI 1976 Montreal, Canada
XXII 1980 Moscow, U.S.S.R.
XXIII 1984 Los Angeles, U.S.A.
XXIV 1988 Seoul, South Korea
XXV 1992 Barcelona, Spain
XXVI 1996 Atlanta, U.S.A.
XXVII 2000 Sydney, Australia
XXVIII 2004 Athens, Greece

The Olympic Winter Games

I 1924 Chamonix, France
II 1928 St. Moritz, Switzerland
III 1932 Lake Placid, U.S.A.
IV 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
1940 Canceled due to W.W. II
1944 Canceled due to W.W. II
V 1948 St. Moritz, Switzerland
VI 1952 Oslo, Norway
VII 1956 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
VIII 1960 Squaw Valley, U.S.A.
IX 1964 Innsbruck, Austria
XIII 1980 Lake Placid, U.S.A.
XIV 1984 Sarajevo, Yugoslavia
XV 1988 Calgary, Canada
XVI1992 Albertville, France
XVII 1994 Lillehammer, Norway
XVIII 1998 Nagano, Japan
XIX 2002 Salt Lake City, U.S.A.

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