History of the Olympics

The Olympic Games are believed to have begun over 3,000 years ago, dating all the way back to 776 BC, which is when details of a cook called Coroebus winning a 192-metre footrace were first recorded. Held in Athens every four years to honour the Greek god Zeus, early sports in the very first Olympic Games included chariot racing, wrestling, javelin and boxing.

Throughout the course of history and Greece’s journey through the various ages, the Olympics started to take a back seat and were banned due to the belief that the games were aligned with pagan activity.

However, the Olympics rose back to public significance in the late 19th century. A French baron called Pierre de Coubertin, after visiting the ancient Olympic sites in Greece, became inspired and believed that he could create a new modern Olympic movement. He set up the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, and just two years later in 1896, the first modern Olympics took place in its ancestral home of Greece.

To this day, the Olympics is arguably the largest sporting event in the world. During this modern history of Olympics, it has been hosted in every corner of the globe. The IOC and Olympic movement still echo the sentiments of the early originators of the games and live by the motto ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’.

What is the Olympics?

The modern Olympics is still held every four years, and cities from all over the world compete for the right to host the games. Although the early games were strictly for amateurs, the rise of professionalism has seen some of the globe’s biggest sports stars compete.

A whole variety of sports takes place over the fortnight of the games, from some of the most popular sports in the world such as football and tennis to less publicised sports such as judo and the modern pentathlon. New and exciting sports are being welcomed into the Olympic family every four years. The last Olympics held in Tokyo welcomed new sports such as rock climbing and skateboarding, and in Paris 2024, surfing will take its place in the Olympic programme for the first time. The Olympics is watched by billions all over the world and generates billions in commercial revenues.

Betting on the Olympics

Most bookmakers open up their books when the Olympics is on, with bettors being able to bet on most of the sports in the Olympic programme. Each sport will tend to have its own markets, but one common bet across all the sports is to back the winner of the overall event or contest. Sports that lend themselves to spread betting, such as basketball, can be bet on at the Olympics. In some events such as football, bettors will be able to bet on markets such as the correct score, first goalscorer, and on markets such as the half with the most amount of goals. To find out more about how you can bet on Olympic underdogs in 2024, keep a close eye on our superdog picks!