The Olympic Games are held every fours years to continue the tradition of the ancient Olympics, which took place every four years between Aug. 6 and Sept. 19 to honor the god Zeus. The games are named for Olympia, the site in Greece where they were held.
Emperor Theodosius I banned the Olympic Games in A.D. 393, as he considered them to be a pagan festival. The games were revived 1,500 years later with the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens, Greece. The Winter Olympics began in 1924, and both the Winter and Summer Olympics were held in the same year through 1992. Starting in 1994, the Winter and Summer Games have been held in separate years, alternating every two years.