The Olympic Games

Memorising the Olympic Games venues

A  gold medal, symbol of the Olympic Games

A gold medal from the Olympic Games in London, 2012, symbol of Olympic excellence

Memorising the Olympic Games venues is a good example of how to use your improved memory. To memorise a list of all the Olympics Games venues, all you have to do is associate each character from your 100 List with a symbol that you associate with the host city for that year.

For example, for 1900 (Paris), you could imagine Scrooge being chased up the Eiffel Tower by the three Christmas ghosts, and beating them, thereby winning gold! For 1960 (Rome), you could visualise (and hear) Nicholas Parsons dressed as a Roman senator and reciting the Olympic oath in the forum. For the Olympic Games of 1968 (Mexico City), you could see Reg Varney, wearing a sombrero and driving a bus to the Olympic Village. The 1972 Munich Games could be symbolised by an image of Mark Spitz swimming across the top of a foaming stein of German beer.

Incidentally, it was at the Olympic Games in Munich that Spitz won seven gold medals, so there’s a natural link there already, if you knew that. I chose Spitz as the character for 72 specifically because I link him to the Munich Olympics.

Of course, there will be the possibility of some confusion, since the dates in the 21st century are the same as ones in the 20th century (e.g. 1912, 2012), but that’s where your natural memory kicks in – once you make the effort to come up with mental images for each date, you’ll find it’s fairly easy to distinguish them from each other. Your natural memory will also take care of some of the details – for example, if you’ve linked a year to an image that brings Japan to mind, your natural memory will fill in the Tokyo-shaped gap that the Japan image calls up.

quit-smoking-magicI could list images for all the years/venues, but I won’t, and for the very good reason that you will quite possibly be using different memory characters from the ones I use. Apart from that, the exercise of coming up with your own images or scenes is time well spent; the images will be more meaningful and memorable to you if you actually worked on creating them yourself.

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OlympiadYearHost City
I1896Athens, Greece
II1900Paris, France
III1904St. Louis, USA
IV1908London, England
V1912Stockholm, Sweden
VI1916--- Cancelled due to WWI ---
VII1920Antwerp, Belgium
VIII1924Paris, France
IX1928Amsterdam, Netherlands
X1932Los Angeles, USA
XI1936Berlin, Germany
XII1940--- Cancelled due to WWII ---
XIII1944--- Cancelled due to WWII ---
XIV1948London, England
XV1952Helsinki, Finland
XVI1956Melbourne, Australia
XVII1960Rome, Italy
XVIII1964Tokyo, Japan
XIX1968Mexico City, Mexico
XX1972Munich, West Germany
XXI1976Montreal, Canada
XXII1980Moscow, USSR
XXIII1984Los Angeles, USA
XXIV1988Seoul, South Korea
XXV1992Barcelona, Spain
XXVI1996Atlanta, USA
XXVII2000Sydney, Australia
XXVIII2004Athens, Greece
XXIX2008Beijing, China
XXX2012London, England
XXXI2016Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
XXXII2020Tokyo, Japan

The Olympic Games in London, 2012

The flag of Great Britain bearing the Olympic Games logo for 2012

The Olympic Games in London, 2012, the greatest show on earth!

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The London Olympics 2012 was memorable even before it started, in that it marked the first time any city had been chosen to host the Olympic Games for a third occasion. For the host nation, Great Britain, the Olympic Games of 2012 surpassed anybody’s wildest dreams of success. Not only was it a triumph of organisation, but as the host nation, Great Britain had an amazing run of athletic triumphs as well.

Athens1896, 2004
London1908, 1948, 2012
Los Angeles1932, 1984
Tokyo1964, 2020 (proposed)

Usain Bolt at the Olympic Games 2012

Usain Bolt, one of the most iconic figures of the London Olympics 2012

More than 10,000 athletes from 204 nations competed at the Olympic Games in London in 2012, the XXX (30th) Olympiad. It ran from 27 July to the 12 August. Athletes from around the world praised the London Games as the best ever.

The Olympic Games of 2012 became the first Olympics at which every sport had female competitors.

The official motto of these Games was “Inspire a generation”. They certainly did that!

Sir Chris Hoy at the Olympic Games 2012

Sir Chris Hoy, winner of six gold medals at the Olympic Games 2012

Sir Chris Hoy brought his gold medal tally up to six, even surpassing Sir Steve Redgrave’s haul of five golds (although Redgrave’s five golds were won at five successive Olympics, from 1984-2000, an achievement that may never be topped). Jessica Ennis, the poster girl of the GBR team, performed magnificently and won the women’s pentathlon, becoming one of the world’s most successful female athletes.

Other top performers at the Olympic Games in London included Mo Farah, Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Nicola Adams (who won women’s boxing’s first ever gold medal), Bradley Wiggins, and the list goes on and on.

Michael Phelps’ medal haul

Michel Phelps, at the Olympic  Games 2012

Michel Phelps, the most successful Olympic athlete ever

Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, having won 22 medals in all. His haul includes 18 gold, two silver, and two bronze. At the Olympic Games 2012, Phelps won four gold and two silver medals, making him the most successful athlete of the Games for the third Olympics in a row.

Across the three major international long-course competitions (the Olympic Games, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific), he has won an astonishing 71 medals, 57 of which are gold!

He’s at it again! I’ll update this entry once the Rio Games have finished.

 The Olympic Games in summer and winter

Summer and Winter games were always held the same year, till 1994 when they were spaced two years apart (and from then on).

The Olympic Games in ancient Greece

The Olympic Games that was first memorialised by written records was in 776 BC, although it is generally accepted that the Games had been going on for some time prior to that. Apparently, there was only one event at the time (the stade), a race of about 192 metres, which was the length of the track at Olympia. The modern word ‘stadium’ derives from the name of this track.

The Olympic Games steadily developed and continued to be celebrated every ‘olympiad’ (a period of four years) for well over 1,000 years. The Roman emperor Theodosius I (a Christian) abolished the Games in 393 AD because of their supposed pagan influences.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who inspired the Olympic Games of modern times

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the inspiration behind the modern Olympics

The Games saw a revival in the late 19th century, spurred on by a young French aristocrat, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. After several years of failing to inspire enough interest in his proposals, Coubertin finally got his ideas accepted and the first modern Olympics was eventually organised, and took place in 1896. You may want to read an interesting article about the Baron and his drive to revive the Olympic Games.

The Olympic Games of 1896 was staged in Athens, the site of the original Games, and it was based on the concept of fair competition, the idea that it was more important to compete than to win, and the hope that it would foster brotherhood among nations.

Since 1896 the Olympic Games has been cancelled only three times, once in 1916, due to World War I, and twice in the 1940s (1940 and 1944), due to World War II.


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