The Great Games By: Arthur Andrade & Katelyn Chase
In the Beginning
The Ancient Olympic Games, which is normally referred to as the Olympic Games, was a bunch of athletic games held by various states of Ancient Greece. They started in 776 BC in the city of Olympia , Greece, and were held until 393 AD. “The prizes were olive wreaths, palm branches and woolen ribbons.”
Olympic Running Training Camp Where the Olympics were held. Episkyros
~The Olympic games were held to honor gods. The Sanctuary of Zeus housed a 12 meter high, statue in ivory and of Zeus. This is one of the seven wonders of the world.
~The Olympic Games were held in every four years, just like today.
~Unlike the Olympic Games today, only free men who spoke Greek were allowed to enter in the Games back then. They were "international", because they included athletes from the various Greek city-states. Also, athletes eventually came from Greek colonies as well, extending the range of the games to far shores of the Mediterranean and of the Black sea.
In order to be able to play in the games, one had to qualify and the player had to have his name written down on the list . It seems that only young people were allowed to participate, as the Greek writer, Plutarch, relates that one young man was rejected for seeming too mature, and only after his lover interfered with the king of Sparta, was he permitted to participate. Before being able to participate, every participant had to take an oath in front of the statue of Zeus saying that he had been in training for 10 months.
The Olympic games originally contained one event, the "stade" race, a short sprint that no one is sure of the actual measurement but is believed to be measured between 180 and 240 meters, or the length of the stadium. Runners had to pass five stakes that divided the lanes, one stake at the start, another at the finish, and three stakes in-between.
As the years passed more events were added, such as Boxing, wrestling, martial arts and chariot racing, several other running events. The long jump, javelin throw and discus throw were also added.
“ During the Olympic Games a truce was observed. Three runners known as spondophoroi were sent from Ellis to the various participant cities at each set of games to announce the beginning of the truce. During this period armies were forbidden from entering Olympia, wars were suspended and legal disputes and the use of the death penalty were forbidden. The truce was primarily designed to allow athletes and visitors to travel safely to the games, and was for the most part observed, although Thucydides wrote of a situation where the Spartans were forbidden from attending the games and fined 200,000 Drachmas for assaulting the city of Lepreum during the period of the ekechiria , claiming that the truce had not yet taken hold.”