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Later, in Roman times the games were banned by Theodosius the Great in 339 AD. The games were revived at Athens in 1896 Largely through the efforts of Baran Pierre de Coubertine, a French educator, who wished to improve national and international understanding through sports. In older times the winners were greatly honored by having olive wreaths placed on their heads and having poems sung about there deeds.
The Olympic games were so sacred to the Greeks that wars in progress were halted to allow the games to take place. But in modern times the 1916 and 1940 Olympic Games could not be held due to the First and Second World Wars. The games are now governed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Although officially a friendly contest between individuals is held the games are often seen as a competition between countries and have recently been troubled by international political tension.
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