Ancient Greek Olympics - Centennial School District

Ancient Greek Olympics By: Jill Ranck Why did the Greeks have these contests? Held the contests to honor the gods. To show their gods how strong, fit and graceful their bodies were. They also tried to get on the good side of the gods by: exercising, eating right, oiling their skin and create a beautiful body. The Greek tendency was to turn everything

into an agon (competition) , they had a lot of athletic competitions in Greece. The most famous competition is called the Olympic Games. Athlete Expectations Each participant had to follow a set of strict rules and regulations. The young men in most Greek cities spent ten months training for the competition under strict supervision. The best of the young men were chosen to compete against the other

best young men from other cities. They were put under strict tests to see if the athletes were worthy of the games. Athlete Expectations The last month of this training had to be spent at Elis, in one of their extremely well kept gymnasiums. The greatest care of personal hygiene as well as keeping in top performance shape were enforced. After the ten months of training and testing, those who were left, were allowed to

compete in the Olympics. Athletes would be considered professionals today. Athletes were showered with riches and gifts as well as women when they were winning. The Competition The young men would meet at the Olympics and compete for prizes and for the favor of the gods. These games were also used to train the men for when they join the army and become soldiers. The events they preformed were similar to the ones we perform today: running,

jumping, throwing a javelin, and throwing a discus. Only men could compete. The Olympics were named after the location they took place in Olympia. Time Line of the 5-day event Marked the beginning of the actual sporting events. Used for sacrifice

and religious ceremonies 1st Day 2nd Day 3rd Day Used for sacrifice and religious ceremonies Compete

d 4th Day Compete d 5th Day Arena at Olympia The great arena at Olympia was the site for most of the events in the games. After years of training and working,

an athlete would finally enter his first Olympic games through an entrance at the arena. Events Boxing: resembled the present day sport but was fought without rounds until one man was either knocked out. Instead of gloves, leather thongs called himantes were wrapped around their fists. Equestrian: events consisted of chariot races and various riding events. Wrestling: very similar to today; A contestant had to successfully throw his opponent 3 times

making him land on a hip, shoulder, or back to be counted as a throw. An athlete was allowed to break fingers but of course no biting. Events Pankration: event combined the power of boxing with the finesse of wrestling. Very dangerous in nature, these fighters wore no protection on their hands and were only outlawed in biting or gouging ones eyes, nose, or mouth. Running: events involved four different races in two types of events. Pentathlon: remained pretty much the same since

its ancient Greek origins. Participants compete in a combination of five events; discus, javelin, jumping, running, and wrestling. This was one of the most highly touted events of it's time because it showed the overall athleticism of an individual. Pictures Colonnade surrounding the wrestling arena in Olympia. Entrance to the stadium of Olympia. Women were prohibited on pain of death. Olympia, site of the original

Olympic Games, located in the west-central part of the Peloponnesus (hundreds of kilometers from Mt. Olympus in the far north of the country). Olympic Fun Facts The Olympics started in 700 B.C. The Olympics are every 4 years ever since. The competitors would compete with barely anything on. The End!

I hope you have learned a lot about the Ancient Olympics! I also hope this has inspired you to go home and watch the 2006 Winter Olympics.

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