Ancient Greek Olympics

650 Words3 Pages
The first ancient Greek Olympics record keeping started in 776 B.C. But there are many conclusions that the Olympics were held even sooner. Even though there were many sporting events, the Olympic Games were the most famous sporting events in ancient Greece, honoring the Greek gods. The event was held every four years in Olympia, Greece. The ancient Greeks believed that keeping their citizens strong and healthy would help strengthen the city-states. The only men allowed to participate would be Greek speaking. Women were not allowed to compete and married women were not even allowed to attend the games. Ancient Olympics started as a time to honor Zeus. Zeus was the father of all the Greek gods and goddesses. Legend has it that Zeus would throw a thunderbolt from Mount Olympus, where the Greek gods and goddesses were said to be, at a rustic spot in Greece. The spot where the thunderbolt was hurled would become an altar for Zeus. Finally, numerous buildings were built around the altar for Zeus. That area was called Olympia. Unlike the Modern Olympic Games, the only men who could participate must speak Greek. In order to be in the games, one had to be eligible, and one's name had to be printed in the lists. Before being able to participate, everyone also had to take an oath in front of the statue of Zeus saying that he had been in training for 10 months. It seems to numerous historians that only young people were allowed to participate. The Greek writer, Plutarch states that, “‘one young man was rejected for seeming too mature, and only after his boyfriend interceded with the king of Sparta, who presumably vouched for his youth, was he permitted to participate.’” Ancient athletes received no pay for participating, but had to train carefully for several months. In the end, the winner, (there were no second or third place winners), was given lavished
Open Document