Everyone knows about the Olympic Games in present times; the world watches the top athletes from every country compete in a variety of sports. But few really know of the essence of the games other than they are held every four years, there are winter and summer games, the best of the best are entered, and the famous Olympic torch never dies out.
There is more to the Olympics than meet the eye; these games actually originated over 3,000 years ago in Greece. According to Thomas Sienkewicz, author of Ancient Greece, the games were thought to have started because of the suggestion of an oracle from Delphi to promote peace throughout Greece (595). A truce was put into place for the entirety of the games, by all city-states who competed, which included the traveling to and from Olympia, training for the competition, and the games themselves. Sienkewicz continues to explain that exact dates as to when the Olympics started are not known, but the Greeks started keeping records around 776 BCE; this is the time around when written language was thought to return to the mainland (595). Similar to the modern day Olympics, the ancient games were held every four years, and the time between each of the games was referred to as an Olympiad (595). The games would start after the first full moon after the summer solstice (594). The ancient Olympics had action, faith, and fair competition. "A competitor would be surrounded of the largest number of Greeks in peace that he would ever experience. Perhaps as many as 40,000 Greeks would gather for the Olympics Games” (The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization, The Olympics) Spectators traveled from as far as modern day Russia and Spain, most of which by foot to watch the display of athleticism (The Ancient O...
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...r and asked any man interested to go to Sicylon. It would then be decided as to who got to marry her by means of a footrace, a wrestling tournament, poise during speeches, and various other areas of importance to him. The daughter of Cleisthenes did not marry, but nevertheless her father gave each suitor a chance to prove his strength and other characteristics (101-102).
Before Cleisthenes was even born, the Olympics were broadened to where both boys and men could participate in the competition. Of course there were divided categories that separated younger athletes from the older ones to ensure fair contesting, whereas, today’s games would have weight classes for individuals in sports. Any male, Greek citizens were permitted to compete in the games, regardless of
The Olympic games held a role so important in the ancient times that those held today do not compare.
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