“Olympic Games”: a synonym for the Olympic Games? bloomer

The term “Olympiad” dates back to antiquity. We will remember that it was to the Greeks of that time that we owe the first Olympic Games and the sporting and cultural celebrations that were held for the first time. year 776 BC. These games were held every four years around the summer solstice in Olympia, Greece.

Then the Greeks began to use the word “Olympics” to refer to a unit of time, the four years that separated the Olympic Games. The first to do this systematically was Timaeus of Toromina in the 3rd century BC. JC..

Ancient authors sometimes date an event corresponding to the Olympiad (first, tenth, etc.), sometimes by the year of each Olympiad (the second year of Olympiad X, for example). Thus, Alexander began to rule in the first year of the CXI Olympiad, that is, in 336 BC. J.-C.. The Olympic Games were held in the first year of each Olympiad.

Traces of this measurement of time disappeared around AD 447. Almost fifty years after the Olympic Games were banned in 393 AD. AD, by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I for religious reasons.

The Olympics and the Modern Era

The Games would be relaunched on June 23, 1894 by Baron Pierre de Coubertin and the first edition of the Modern Era Olympic Games were held in Athens in April 1896. As at Olympia time, the event is presented to all four. Years.

French language office He points out that the Olympics “begin with the holding of the Summer Olympics and end with the opening of the next Summer Olympics.” The Olympics are counted from the first modern-day Olympics in 1896. The counting continues over time, whether or not the Summer Olympics are celebrated. Although the Tokyo Olympics are held a year late, they are still associated with the Games of the 32nd Modern Era Olympics, which began on January 1, 2020.

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the Olympics

French language office Specifies that the word “Olympic Games”, with a capital letter and a plural form, is most often used to name the Olympic Games.

Function Condemned by the French Academy 1964 and criticized it according to larus And the used, a dictionary designed in Quebec by the University of Sherbrooke. The latter also emphasizes the use of the word “Olympics” to designate competitions modeled on the Olympic Games, such as the Mathematics or Chess Olympiad.


In its original meaning, the term “Olympics” refers to the four-year period between two successive celebrations of the Summer Olympics, not the Games themselves. The plural form is often used today to refer to these competitions or competitions inspired by the Olympic Games. However, its use as a synonym for the Olympic Games has been criticized.

Image credits: © Alexander Kondratov | Dreamstime.com

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