Summer 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

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

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

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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

The blanket toss is one of the many events that occur during the annual World Eskimo Indian Olympics in Fairbanks, Alaska.

For More Than 60 Years, Indigenous Alaskans Have Hosted Their Own Olympics

Athletes at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics in Fairbanks test their mettle in events like the blanket toss, knuckle hop and ear pull

Babe Didrickson’s brash behavior along with her decorated athleticism (above: second from right in the 80-meter hurdle) challenged every imagined ideal for a woman athlete in the 1930s.

Olympian Babe Didrikson Cleared the Same Hurdles Women Athletes Face Today

The star track and field athlete of the 1930s boisterously challenged gender expectations with her record-setting athleticism

Detail of medieval roll showing England's Henry VIII tilting at a joust in front of his first wife, Katherine of Aragon. In the West, chariot racing died out rather quickly, but beginning in the second half of the 11th century, knightly tournaments were the spectacle of medieval Europe.

What the Medieval Olympics Looked Like

The Middle Ages didn't kill the Games, as international sporting competitions thrived with chariot races and jousts

Pure athletic prowess wasn’t really the point—the People’s Olympiad was about cultivating a spirit of equality, in direct contrast to Nazi ideals.

The 'Protest' Olympics That Never Came to Be

A leftist response to the 1936 Games being held in Nazi Germany, the proposed competition was canceled by the Spanish Civil War

Yakumo Academy High School karate team members practice a kata. Competitors are judged on such things as strength/power, deportment and interpretation.

The Centuries-Old Sport of Karate Finally Gets Its Due at the Olympics

With the games set for Japan, the martial art will at last debut at next month's competition

Tsökahovi "Louis" Tewanima became an Olympian while being forced to attend the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

The Olympic Star Who Just Wanted to Go Home

Tsökahovi Tewanima held an American record in running for decades, but his training at the infamous Carlisle school kept him from his ancestral Hopi lands

The new plan creates more space for pedestrians and trees.

Paris' Champs-Élysées to Be Transformed Into an 'Extraordinary Garden'

The French avenue's "green makeover" won’t be finished until after the city's 2024 Summer Olympics

Two-time medalist Rafer Johnson donated the metal torch he used to light the Olympic Flame at the Los Angeles games in 1984 to the National Museum for African American of History and Culture.

Olympic Decathlon Medalist Rafer Johnson Dies at 86

He was the first African American athlete to light the cauldron that burns during the Games

This Bahne skateboard, now part of the National Museum of American History’s collection, was given to a 9-year-old Tony Hawk by his older brother Steve in 1977. It was the first board the future legendary pro skateboarder learned how to ride.

What Tony Hawk's First Skateboard Shows About the History of the Sport He Made Famous

The legend has done the impossible again by bringing skateboarding into the mainstream

The Games will now take place in the summer of 2021.

Amid a Pandemic, Olympic Committee Postpones Summer Games Until 2021

Delaying the Games for a year is considered by many to be the best course of action for public health

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