Have The Olympic Games Been Held Regularly Since 1896?
The International Olympic Committee canceled the Olympic Games several times because of world events: in 1916 due to World War I (1914–1918) and in 1940 and 1945 due to World War II (1939–1945). In addition, athletes have more than once boycotted (expressed disapproval by refusing to participated) the games. After the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, noncommunist athletes boycotted the 1980 Summer Olympic Games, which were held in the Soviet Union, in protest. Four years later, Soviet athletes boycotted the Summer Games held in Los Angeles, California. Officials announced that the Soviet athletes were fearful, but many speculated that their absence was due to rules on testing for illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Terrorism has also taken a toll on the Olympic Games. In 1972 during the Summer Games in Munich, Germany, members of the Arab terrorist group called Black September killed several Israeli athletes in their Olympic Village lodgings. After the failed attempt to rescue the remaining Israeli athletes, who were held hostage, the terrorists and hostages were killed in a shoot-out. Eleven Israeli athletes died in this episode. A bombing at Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, cast a shadow over the 1996 Olympic Games.
Further Information: Anderson, Dave. The Story of the Olympics. New York: Beech Tree, 1996; Drummond, Siobhan. Grace and Glory: A Century of Women in the Olympics. Washington, D.C.: Multi-Media Partners, 1996; Nelson, Rebecca, and Marie J. MacNee. The Olympic Factbook. Detroit: Visible Ink Press, 1995; Tames, Richard. The Modern Olympics. New York: Heinemann, 1996.