The Summer Olympics will soon come to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In just under 100 days, the city will carry the torch of the modern Summer Olympics, which date back to Athens, Greece in 1896. Then, about 240 athletes (all male) from 14 nations competed in 43 events — ranging from swimming to cycling, wrestling to fencing, and gymnastics to track and field.

This summer, when Brazil will become the first South American country to host the Summer Olympics, there will be 136 women’s events, 161 men’s events, and nine mixed medal events.

In anticipation of that and in celebration of how far the games have come, take a look at some of the most dramatic, awe-inspiring, and inspirational photos of Summer Olympics past:

Summer Olympics Photos History
First Olympiad
Babe Didrikson
Nazi Germany
The 15 Best Summer Olympics Photos from the Past and Present
View Gallery

Next, be sure to check out these haunting photos of abandoned Olympics sites.

Erin Kelly
Erin Kelly
Erin Kelly is a freelance writer, artist and video editor that splits her time between the humid Midwest and the dusty corners of her mind.
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