The Ancient Greek Olympic Games
The Olympics are one of the most popular events in the world. They first started in Ancient Greece, in 776 BC. It contained many games such as running, boxing, discus and others. The Ancient Greeks were really into their sport, they did it to honour their god Zeus and in memory of Pelops. They were held in Olympia. Only men were allowed to take part.
Where did it all happen?
Before the Olympics took place they had to train first. Some training and jumping took place in a Palaistra. Also they had a Gymnasium where most people would train really hard. A Palaistra was very different from a Gymnasium because it specialised in jumping. The Olympics took place in many buildings, it really depended in what sport you did. They were held every four years in Olympia.
What about the women?
Men were only allowed to join in the Olympics. Married women were not allowed to go out of the house so it didn’t matter. There was a separate festival called Heraia. That was also held every four years. It contained three running events for girls of all ages.
What were the events?
In the men’s Olympics there were lots of events such as boxing, running, discus, wresting, chariot races, horse races and the pentathlon. Boxing lasted for hours until one of the athletes lost consciousness. In wrestling one of the athletes had to throw their opponent off to win. The pentathlon was a competition consisting five athletic events. It was a very demanding competition.
What about the prizes?
The winners would get their prizes on the fifth day of the games. They were presented with olive wreaths, palm branches and woollen ribbons. If they were really good at a sport a statue was erected in honour. In 5th century BC a city would sponsor a good athlete and pay them well.
In 720 BC Olympiad, nudity became ruling. It was from a story about a widow that disguised herself as a man. Then the people found out that she was a woman. Then a rule was made that trainers and participants had to be naked so people could tell if they were male or female.
So with all the information we know that only men were allowed to be in the Olympics, what they did and how it started. It was very different from now.