Led by Frenchman Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the modern Olympic Movement was founded in 1894 with the establishment of the International Olympic Committee.
In 1894, Pierre de Coubertin launched his project to restore the Olympic Games. With the goal of rotating the Games every four years in different locations, the first Modern Olympic Games took place in 1896 in Athens. The Games attracted 241 athletes from 14 nations, with the largest delegations coming from Greece, Germany, France and Great Britain.
Pierre de Coubertin designed the Olympic symbol to reflect world unity. The five rings represent the five continents; however, the colors do not correspond to specific continents. The rings are interlaced to show the unity of Olympism and the meeting of the athletes of the world during the Olympic Games.
Pierre de Coubertin first presented the rings in a flag in June 1914 in Paris at the Olympic Congress. Due to the First World War, the flag and its five rings were not displayed in an Olympic stadium until 1920 in Antwerp, Belgium.
Following the Games in Greece, the second Olympic Games, held in 1900 in Paris, opened its doors for women to participate. Eight years later, after interest in adding winter sports to the Games, figure skating was added to the 1908 Summer Games in London, and in 1924, the first Winter Olympic Games was held in France.
Over the years, the Olympic Movement has grown to incorporate more athletes. In 1960, the Paralypmic Games were added to the schedule, and in 2010, the first Youth Olympic Games were held in Singapore.
Today, the Olympic Games are one of the largest and most popular sporting events in the world.