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If Barcelona is hosting the Games of the XXVth Olympiad, why aren't these the 25th summer Olympics?

Because the Games scheduled in 1916, 1940, and 1944 were canceled, as wars intervened. Nonetheless, the Olympic movement keeps time in four-year increments called Olympiads, and counts their passage whether or not the Games actually occur. During the opening ceremony here, a youngster from each of the previous host cities ran into the stadium holding his country's flag. Those years when the Games had to be canceled were represented by boys carrying flags bearing the international symbol of peace, the whi te dove.

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