The modern Olympic Games are the world’s foremost multi-sports event.
They are the largest sporting celebration in terms of the number of sports on the programme, the number of athletes present and the number of people from different nations gathered together at the same time, in the same place, in the spirit of friendly competition.
Organised every four years, they include a summer and a winter edition. Athletes from all 206 National Olympic Committees and the IOC Olympic Refugee Team are eligible to compete in a wide range of sporting disciplines and events, watched by a worldwide audience.
The first edition of the modern Olympic Games was staged in Athens, Greece, in 1896, while the first winter edition was held in Chamonix, France, in 1924. Since 1994, the Olympic Games have alternated between a summer and winter edition every two years within the four-year period of each Olympiad.
Olympic Games news
More than 7,800 athlete places already secured for Tokyo 2020
Test events, Olympic Torch Relay and updated Playbooks mark important progress for Tokyo 2020
Four Test Events in Japan conducted safely and securely with participation of overseas athletes
WHO: “IOC, organisers and Japanese government working extremely hard to ensure risks are well managed at Olympic Games Tokyo 2020”
IOC statement on the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022
IOC welcomes Pfizer and BioNTech’s donation of vaccines to teams heading for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020
Preparing Olympic Games
Once the host is chosen, years of work go into the preparation of the Olympic Games.
Each edition of the Olympic Games is organised by a different host. Hosting duties are entrusted in principle to a city. However, in the interests of sustainability and to prioritise the use of existing or temporary venues and infrastructure, some hosting duties may take place outside the region or even the country.
The host is usually designated by the name of the city or region where the Olympic Games will take place to which the year of the event is added. The Host + Year designation is trademarked.
Find information about all the activities of the IOC around past Olympic Games here.