An ancient Olympiad was a period of four years grouped together, counting inclusively as the ancients did.Each ancient Olympic year overlapped onto two of our modern reckoning of BC or AD years, from midsummer to midsummer.Example: Olympiad 140, year 1 = 220/219 BC; year 2 = 219/218 BC; year 3 = 218/217 BC; year 4 = 217/216 BC.Therefore, the games would have been held in July/August of The combination of victor lists and calculations from 776 BC onwards enabled Greek historians to use the Olympiads as a way of reckoning time that did not depend on the time reckonings of one of the city-states. Nevertheless, since for events of the early history of the games the reckoning was used in retrospect, some of the dates given by later historian for events before the 5th century BC are very unreliable..
The Olympiads are numbered consecutively from the first Games of the Olympiad celebrated in Athens in 1896. 31st) began on August 5, 2016 and will end on July 24, 2020.
Some media people have from time to time referred to a particular (e.g., the nth) Winter Olympics as "the Games of the nth Winter Olympiad", perhaps believing it to be the correct formal name for the Winter Games by analogy with that of the Summer Games.
Indeed, at least one IOC-published article has applied this nomenclature as well.
This analogy is sometimes extended further by media references to "Summer Olympiads".
However, the IOC does not seem to make an official distinction between Olympiads for the summer and winter games, and such usage particularly for the Winter Olympics is not consistent with the numbering discussed above.