The first ancient Olympic Games were held in Olympia, Greece, which is a sanctuary on the Peloponnesos peninsula. The site and the games were sacred to Zeus, the king of the Greek gods of Mount Olympus.

Historians are not sure when the first games actually took place, but the first recorded Olympic Games happened in 776 B.C. They continued for more than a millennium until a decree by the Roman emperor Theodosius banned all polytheistic rituals.

The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. Inspired by his studies of the Classical world, French nobleman Pierre de Coubertin organized this event.