In the name of all the competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams“.

The Olympic oath encapsulates the spirit of the historic Olympic games. The oath was first taken in the 1920 Antwerp games and has continued since.

The 2016 Rio Olympics begins today. This time 208 countries are participating in the games that are being held in South American continent for the first time. There are a few new things in this edition of the games. The award for a great Olympian is being given from this year. The first recipient of the ‘Olympic Laurel’  this year is the two-time medal winner Kenyan runner Kipchoge Keino.  The stone used in the trophy is a stone taken from the site of Olympia.

The other new thing in these games is the team of Refugee Olympic team which will play under the IOC flag. This team has athletes who are refugees from different countries. This is to highlight the uncertain times that we live in now.

I have always been fascinated about Olympics for as long as I can remember. From the opening ceremony to the closing ceremony 20 days later, was and still is a great attraction to me.  I remember one games where I sat till late in the night watching the opening ceremony and writing down the names of the countries that participated and also the number of athletes from that country. I love to see the costumes of the players and their flags too. It is from these gala events that I knew of countries with such exotic names like Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Virgin Islands and Mozambique and many more.

The parade of the athletes, the flag hoisting, the oath taking and finally the lighting of the torch still have the power to give me goosebumps. As I watched the opening ceremony today, I still retain the awe-inspiring feeling that I have experienced in all the games so far.

Though I am rooting for my country to do well (fingers crossed), I simply enjoy all the disciplines for the  sport. The determination, sweat, hardwork, glory and triumph of each participant, irrespective of the country, is really  glorious to watch.

The greatest show on earth has begun. May the spirit of sports win all the way!!! Hurray!!