The Olympic Motto "Citius, Altius, Fortius," meaning "Swifter, Higher, Stronger" was developed by a Dominican monk named Father Henri Didon. It refers to the three basic track and field activities: running, jumping and throwing.

Modern Games

In 1976 the Olympic games were held in Montreal, Canada. Shortly before the Olympics, the New Zealand rugby team toured South Africa and competed against them. As a result, many other African countries threatened to boycott the Olympics unless the New Zealand rugby team was banned from the Olympics. The IOC had no control over the sport of rugby and although efforts were made to stop a boycott, 26 African countries indeed boycotted the 1976 Olympics.

In 1980 the Olympics were held in Moscow, Soviet Union. Because of the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan, the largest boycott in Olympic history took place. Sixty-one countries including the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy and Sweden did not go to the games.

Four years later, in retaliation, the Soviet Union and 14 other countries did not attend the Olympics that were being held in Los Angeles, USA. In 1984 China competed in the Olympics for the first time since 1932.

In 1988 the Olympics were held in Seoul, South Korea. This was the first Olympics in 12 years that was not formally boycotted, although North Korea, Cuba and Ethiopia did not attend. It was also the largest Olympics to date, with over 13,000 athletes and officials from 160 countries attending. The motto of these Olympic Games was, "Peace, Harmony, Progress." It was evident that the Korean people worked to present this ideal of peace, harmony and progress. Moreover, the Olympics were finally put back onto the right track, allowing the world to move forward with a general search for peace, harmony and progress.