The First Olympics

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This year, the Sochi Olympic Winter Games will be an event full of exciting sports and breathtaking stunts. But have you ever thought about what the first Olympics were like in ancient Greek history? With the fans, not crowded around a television screen, but all seated and watching firsthand the events about to unfold. Just think about that, observing some of the strongest men in the world throw weights and men to the ground, chariots crashing together in an effort to place first. Now keep those images in your mind as I lead you through a day in the Olympics. You will learn that the Ancient Olympics were a religious event full of spectacular sports, breathtaking strength, and subsequently have become the worldwide event enjoyed by millions today. Before we get into the Games, here’s a couple things you should know. The Olympics are played on the plains of Olympia in Greece, located on the Western part of the Peloponnese (olympic.org). The first Games ever to be played were in 776 B.C. (Hornblower) and were believed to have been founded by Pelpos (olympic.org) in Elis, Greece (The Britannica Encyclopedia Editors) Also the Olympics, every four years (britannica.com), were played between August and September (Schbel 53). So first, before the Games begin, there is a procession that goes on a thirty-six mile trek from Elis, Greece to Olympia Greece (Faulkner 195). The procession included the judges, the Olympic council, the Heralds, etc., and then the athletes, chariots, horses, etc. (Faulkner 195). The first day of the Olympics begins with an opening ceremony (Faulkner 197). The opening ceremony consisted of all of the athletes that were participating in the Games swearing on slices of wild boar meat that they will abide... ... middle of paper ... ...ochi Olympic Games. They were a time for celebration, competition, and honor. They will live in our hearts as one of the most spectacular events in ancient history. Works Cited Durant, John. “Highlights of the Olympics”. New York (city of publication not given): Hastings House Publishers, 1961. The Britannica Encyclopedia Editors.ed. “Elis” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2010. Britannica Online. Web. 7 January, 2014. Faulkner, Neil. “A Visitor’s Guide to the Ancient Olympics”. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2012. Hornblower, Simon “Ancient Greek civilization (historical region, Eurasia)” Encyclopedia Britannica. 2012. Britannica Online. Web. 7 January, 2014. Schobel, Heinz. “The Ancient Olympic Games”. Princeton: D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1965. “Ancient Olympic Games.” Online. http://www.olympic.org/ancient-olympic-games 9 January, 2014.
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