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In preparation for the 2000 Summer Olympics, Sydney, Australia, built the largest Olympic Stadium in history.  
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The first ancient and modern Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece. Greek athletes were competing as early as 776 B.C., and the first modern games were held in 1896.  
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The 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona, Spain, saw the first professional athletes in 96 years go for the gold. It was also the first time since 1936 that Germany participated as a united country.  
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Atlanta, Georgia, celebrated a record 197 countries participating in the 1996 Games, but the festivities took a dark turn when a bomb went off in Centennial Olympic Park.  
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Tokyo was the first Asian city to host the Olympic Games. Japan spent $3 billion on the 1964 event, which saw 12 world records and six Olympic records broken.  
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In protest of the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, more than 60 countries boycotted the Olympics held in Moscow in 1980, the first time they were held in a Communist country.  
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Jesse Owens was the star of the 1936 Olympics hosted by Berlin. Adolf Hitler expected the games to be a display of German athletic superiority and was embarrassed by the results.  
 
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