From skiing to horseback riding, Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly, and Sue Hollister enjoy many athletic activities throughout The Happy Hollisters series. If only they weren’t so busy solving mysteries, maybe one of them would have excelled enough to head to the Olympics, as thousands of athletes from around the world will do later this month for the Summer 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
This year, the Olympics (postponed from 2020 to 2021) begin on July 23rd and extend to early August. The concept of the Olympics dates back to ancient Greece around 776 B.C. The games were held in the city of Olympia to honor the Greek god Zeus, and the earliest recorded versions show that a running race was the only event included in the ancient games. Other events like wrestling, jumping, and throwing (javelin and discus) were added later. Due to their connection with ancient Pagan religion, the Olympics were ended by a Roman emperor around 394 A.D. and weren’t revived until 1896.
The first modern Olympics games were held in Greece, paying homage to the origin of the games. However, it was decided that a different city should host every year, a tradition we still see today. The Olympics originally included only warm-weather sports until 1924, when the events were held in France and expanded to include cold-weather sports like skiing, ice skating, and hockey. Today the Olympics alternate between the winter and summer games in a four-year cycle, with one version of the games occurring every two years. For example, London hosted the 2012 Summer Olympics; the 2014 Winter Olympics were in Sochi, Russia; and the 2016 Summer Olympics were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
This year, more than 11, 000 athletes are expected in Tokyo to compete in 300+ events across 33 different types of sports. Popular sports like swimming, track and field, tennis, and gymnastics are mainstays of the games, with less-common events like badminton, archery, table tennis, and fencing filling out the schedule. Additionally, the 2020 Olympics will introduce four new events: karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. This is also the first year that softball and baseball return as Olympic events after being omitted for several years due to conflicts with the Major League Baseball schedule.
No matter what sport you like to watch or play, there is something for everyone to cheer for during the Summer Olympics as athletes vie to earn those coveted bronze, silver, and gold medals. Animal lovers like Pam Hollister might enjoy the equestrian events, which include show jumping and dressage, while daredevil Ricky might get his thrills from watching top athletes compete in events like skateboarding. Swimming and gymnastics tend to draw the most attention, as they feature athletes with game-changing abilities like Simone Biles of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team and record-breaking American swimmer Katie Ledecky.
The opening ceremonies are also typically a sight to behold, as athletes come together from all corners to the world to kick off the games and represent their countries. It’s always swell to hear the wide variety of national anthems and see the flags and colorful outfits of countries visited by the Hollisters during their adventures, like Mexico, Italy, Canada, and Denmark.
With their love for adventures with an international flare and heartfelt joy in making friends all over the world, we bet that Pete, Pam, Ricky, Holly, and Sue would enjoy seeing many nations come together to show off their athletic prowess. When the Olympic torch is carried into the opening ceremonies this month, join the world in cheering for all the amazing athletes!
by Libby Svenson Kennedy
Research notes, Andrew Svenson Archives of The Hollister Family Properties Trust