Olympics

The newly unveiled medals will be awarded at this summer's Olympic games, which will take place between July 26 and August 11.

New Olympic Medals Feature Fragments of the Eiffel Tower

This summer's Paris Olympic and Paralympic medals will be decorated with pieces of iron from the landmark

One side of the silver medal depicts Zeus holding Nike in the palm of his hand, while the other side features the Acropolis in Athens.

Winners Got Silver Medals at the First Modern Olympic Games in 1896

A rare example of the nearly 130-year-old silver medal just sold at auction for $112,000

One of the more than 200 bouquiniste stalls along the Seine in Paris

Parisian Booksellers Have Lined the Seine for Centuries. Now, They're Fighting to Stay

Ahead of the 2024 Olympics, city officials are trying to relocate the bouquinistes for security reasons

Tori Bowie at the 2016 Olympic Games

What Is Eclampsia? Olympian Tori Bowie May Have Died From the Rare Pregnancy Condition

The 4x100 gold medalist died in May, bringing attention to high maternal mortality rates among Black women in the United States

Paris is working on an ambitious project to clean the Seine river for use during swimming events in the 2024 Summer Olympics.

For the First Time in a Century, Paris Is Making the Seine Swimmable

The city's ambitious project will allow Olympians, and later the French public, to return to the famous river's waters

Jim Thorpe in 1912

Jim Thorpe's 1912 Olympic Gold Medals Are Finally Reinstated

Officials removed the Native American athlete's victories from Olympic records in 1913

Ralph Samuelson on water skiis

The Man Who Invented Water Skiing

One hundred years ago, Ralph Samuelson successfully skied across the waters of Lake Pepin

Ski jumpers use aerodynamics and physics to overcome gravity – at least for a while.

The Freaky Physics of Ski Jump

Olympic ski jumpers do everything they can do counteract the effects of gravity and fly as far as they can down hills

Bobsled, luge and skeleton athletes descend twisting, steep tracks at speeds upward of 80 mph (130 kmh).

The High-Speed Physics of Olympic Bobsled, Luge and Skeleton

In these sports that send humans hurtling faster than a car on a highway, tiny motions mean the difference between gold and a crash

Fireworks fill the sky over the "Bird's Nest" arena in Beijing on January 30, 2022

The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

As you watch the Beijing Winter Olympics, enjoy this guide to the history, science and thrills of the worldwide athletic competition

Activists in London hold signs urging the BBC to boycott the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.

Is China Committing Genocide Against the Uyghurs?

The Muslim minority group faces mass detention and sterilization—human rights abuses that sparked the U.S.' diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics

Snowboarder Shannon Dunn competes for Team USA in the 1998 Winter Olympics, where she won the bronze medal in half-pipe.

A Brief History of Snowboarding

Rebellious youth. Olympic glory. How a goofy American pastime conquered winter

A 1930s couple rings in the new year with party blowers and streamers. New Year's Eve celebrations only began incorporating countdowns decades later, with the first crowd countdown in Times Square taking place in 1979.

Why Do We Count Down to the New Year?

A historian traces the tradition's links to space travel, the Doomsday Clock and Alfred Hitchcock

The Parthenon, the temple that sits atop Athens' Acropolis, seen surrounded by smoke on August 4

Ancient Olympics' Birthplace Saved as Fires Rage Across Southern Europe

A massive heatwave sparked blazes along the Mediterranean, threatening cultural heritage sites and forcing mass evacuations

Olympic runners compete during the 10,000 meters race in Tokyo. In ancient times, running was likely used to push animals to exhaustion during hunting.

Five Ways Humans Evolved to Be Athletes

An archaeologist explores how our prowess in sport has deep roots in evolution

Will an American athlete from the Tokyo Games grab gold and become the next to be featured on the cover of Wheaties?

How Wheaties Became the 'Breakfast of Champions'

Images of Olympians and other athletes on boxes helped the cereal maintain a competitive edge

Interest in gymnastics soared during the Cold War, when the Olympics emerged as a cultural battleground for Western and Eastern nations.

A History of Gymnastics, From Ancient Greece to Tokyo 2020

The beloved Olympic sport has evolved drastically over the past 2,000 years

A mural in Munich's former Olympic Village features Otl Aicher's pictograms.

This Graphic Artist's Olympic Pictograms Changed Urban Design Forever

Having lived through Germany's Nazi regime, Otl Aicher went on to pioneer democratic design

Team USA Stamps

The Science Behind a Faster, Higher, Stronger Team U.S.A.

The unsung heroes behind the Summer Olympics are the scientists and engineers whose inventions and innovations help athletes

None

The Tokyo Summer Olympics: Smithsonian's Guide to the Games

Prepare yourself for the Tokyo Olympics with this comprehensive guide to the history, science, arts and thrills of the worldwide celebration

Page 1 of 7