Top Olympic Cities of the World
The modern Olympic Games started in Greece in 1896 but have since been hosted in some of the most stunning cities in the world including Tokyo, Los Angeles and Beijing.
Since the time of the Ancient Greeks, the Olympic Games have been the pinnacle of sporting achievement, highlighting the attributes of outstanding sporting heroes at the height of their prowess. The modern Olympic Games have been held every four years since 1896 and during that time have hosted some phenomenal games in some of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Here are the top five Olympic cities to host the summer games.
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The capital of Greece is where the modern Olympics all began. Traditionally, the ancient Games were held in Olympia (hence Olympic) but Athens was chosen as a suitable host for the first modern games because of its size to accommodate so many international athletes and spectators. Visitors today can grab a cheap flight to Athens to see where the beating heart of Olympic spirit was born.
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The City of Angels, as well as hosting Hollywood’s celebrity A-listers, has hosted the Olympic Games twice in its illustrious history, in 1932 and 1984. The 1984 Games were memorable for Daley Thompson winning his second consecutive gold medal in the decathlon and the unveiling of John Williams’ Olympic Fanfare, which became one of the most recognised Olympic Anthems of all time.
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The Japanese capital city was elected to host the Games in 1940 but the event was cancelled with the outbreak of the Second World War. Tokyo was given a second chance to host the games in 1964 at the XVIII Olympiad. As the first Asian Olympics, the 1964 Games were a huge success; introducing judo to the list of Olympic sports and witnessing America’s Don Schollander win four golds in swimming.
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The 2008 Games in Beijing provided a world spectacle unlike any ever seen before at the Olympics. China was transformed for the Games, with the beautiful host city Beijing alive and vibrant with the spirit of the Olympics. An astonishing $40 billion was spent on the Olympics by China, which saw an incredible 43 new world records set. While it certainly wasn’t cheap, flights of fireworks and the stunning opening ceremony may never be topped.
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As London prepares for the 30th Olympiad in 2012 the weight of history and expectation weighs upon Great Britain. The city hosted the Games in 1908 and would have hosted again in 1948 had it not been for the hangover of the war. The Olympics has already brought an extraordinary amount of regeneration to London’s East End and will leave a lasting sporting legacy for the city.
Top image from GillTy