Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy found in effort, the educational value of a good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
To the ancient Greeks, the Olympiades was far more than just sporting games. They were sacred rituals where men offered their body and their efforts to the gods.
Olympiades were so vital to the life of ancient Greeks that time and the games merged with the myth: at the very beginning, time and the Olympiades were born together. History began in a faraway time where humans and gods lived side by side. In that time the Olympiades were also born.
Ancient Greeks calculated time with the Olympiades, which were not only the actual event but the period of four years in between. So a Greek would say, the second year of the tenth olympiad to determine the year.
I don’t think we can understand today what the Olympiades meant for the people who brought them into the world, but I see why XIX century people were fascinated with them to the point of resurrecting them. It’s an idea that goes beyond just sports. And I think that even in our world, where athletes are professionals and compete for money, where the Games are often turned into a circus, and nothing about them is remotely sacred, a part of what they meant to our ancestors still lives. We still see values in the competitions. Maybe a little, far away part of us still remembers.
I like to believe it.