Only free men who spoke Greek were allowed to participate in the Ancient Games. The games included athletes from the various Greek city-states.
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 stadion, or stade, race, a short sprint of 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. Over the years, more events were added: boxing, wrestling, pankration (mixed martial arts) and chariot racing.
The winner if an Olympic event was awarded an olive branch, and was often received with much honor throughout Greece and especially in their hometown, where he was often granted large sums of money.
Sculptors would create statues if Olympic winners. Participation in the games was only limited to male athletes; the only way woman were allowed to take part was to enter horses in the equestrian events.
The athletes usually competed naked, not only as the weather was appropriate but also as the first festival was meant to celebrate, in, part, the accomplishments of the human body.
Olive oil was used by the competitors, It was used to keep their skin smooth and also to provide an appealing look for the participants.
The origins of the Ancient Olympic Games are unknown, but several legends and myths have survived.
The Greek games were held in four year intervals, which allowed the participants to have enough time to undergo proper training.