The Beijing Olympics will be the 29th Games of the modern Olympiad. And while these Olympics are much larger in scale than anything the ancient Olympians could have dreamed of, this revival has a long way to go if it wants to match the old-time Greeks for longevity.
There were 293 editions of the ancient Olympics, running from 776 B.C. to 393 A.D., or 1,169 years. To put that in perspective, this version of the Olympics would have to last until 3064 to equal the run of the first Games. I'm sure Dara Torres already has her calendar circled.
What events will they have at the 3064 Olympics, I wonder? I see it going in one of two directions. Events could be purely technologically based, like '100-meter hoverboard' (in which the winner will be Marty McFly XXIII) or 'shuttle run to the moon'. Or, if the sobering lessons of Terminator 2 come to fruition, technology will be viewed as evil and our society will have regressed to the point where the final modern Olympics looks like the first ancient Olympics. That's deep, my friends.