Today’s Olympics have changed a lot. The Olympics in Greece focused mainly on the gods. The Greeks made sacrifices to the gods on the first and third day of the Olympic Games (Ancient). That is not how they focus today at all. In fact, many people don’t believe in the gods being more than myths made up by desperate people in desperate times. The athletes have changed as well, there are female athletes as well as male athletes in today’s Olympics. There used to be only free male athletes, females and slaves were forbidden to participate under the death penalty. (The. People also now wear clothing instead of going around nude with olive oil and a fine sand to protect their skin.
There are also many more and different games. The Olympics started with one event, a race, and grew to be over fifty events in just the timespan of Ancient Greece. The Olympics that today’s athletes compete in are very different than the Olympics were in the times of Ancient Greece, when Greek athletes competed. Our Olympics don’t focus on the gods nearly as much as the Greeks did; there are now female athletes, and there are more events and clothing.
The different days of the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece are all amazingly focused on honoring the gods because they believe in the power of their gods, want to show how well the gods have helped them so the gods don’t kill them, and they make lots of sacrifices to their gods. On the first day they make sacrifices to honor the gods. Then they show their speed and abilities in fighting to show the gods, what awesome creatures they have become thanks to them. On the second day they show how they appreciate Poseidon’s wonderful gift of horses by chariot racing.
Next they have running, the long jump, wrestling, the discus throw, and the javelin. After that the victor is crowned with leaves from an olive tree that Athena invented and gave to them in a contest to become the patron goddess of Athens. On the third day, the most religious one of all, they make large sacrifices to the king of the gods, Zeus. Then they have two long races as the only events for that day. Later they bring their families and have a dinner, trying foods brought by foreign ambassadors. The fourth day they mostly had contact sports.
One of these sports was boxing in which people were sometimes killed. They ended their day with a race in armor, reminding them that these sports were all to help them in battles and war. On the fifth and final day of the Greece Olympics, they mostly just celebrated the victors by choosing a boy to cut leaves from a tree sacred to Zeus and give the leaves to the victors. Lastly, there was a feast for the rest of the day. Our Olympics have evolved a lot from the times of the Ancient Greece Olympic Games; a few of these evolutions are the fact that we now wear clothes when competing.
There used to be only one race in the Olympic games, but now there are many more, and we now have more sports in the Olympics beyond just racing. In the first Olympics people were nude when running. They protected themselves from the sun by rubbing olive oil on their skin, then put fine sand over themselves. In the first 13 Olympics the only event was a foot race called the Stade. Over the course of the next few Olympic Games more races were added and the stade was changed to an oval racing track. One lap around the oval track was called a stadium. Some of the new races were a two lap race, a twelve lap race, and a twenty four lap race.
At the 18th Olympic Games sports other than running were added. They were wrestling, jumping, javelin, and discus. At the 20th Olympic Games boxing was added. The gloves they wore for boxing have changed dramatically over time. In the 33rd Olympic Games a new sport was introduced, the Pankration, a mix of boxing and wrestling. In 632 BC the Olympic Games were extended to last seven days, without any events on the first and last day. In 580 BC a race in armor was added. By 500 BC there were over 50 events in the Olympic Games, way more than the one it started with.
There were many interesting athletes that competed in the Ancient Greece Olympic games. There was a truce that every city in Greece had to abide by, athletes came from many other countries, and some were even kings. Astylos of Croton won six times in three Olympic Games. When Astylos of Croton competed as a member of a city other than his own the citizens demolished his statue and made him a prisoner in his own house. Milon of Croton was very famous; he won wrestling six times. He was a formidable opponent and won many other competitions as well. Leonidas of Rhodes was a very famous runner and won 12 events in the Olympic Games.
Melankomas of Caria was an amazing fighter and often won without taking a blow or giving his opponent one; he won many Olympic Games. Kyniska of Sparta had a chariot that won a chariot race and she was the first female to ever win at the Olympic Games. She only won because the owner of the chariot – not the driver is given credit for the victory. The Olympics do not have a definite start time, just a time when winners started getting recorded in 776 BCE. The first recorded winner was a cook from Elis. The Olympics were always held on the first or second moon in August.
The only people allowed to enter Olympic Games were free Greek citizens. Slaves and women were banned from them by penalty of death. There was a contest for maidens. There was also a contest exclusively for boys. There was a truce in all Greek states at times of Olympic Games that lasted up to three months to ensure safe travel. The Greeks competed over everything and valued being an individual. Competitors prepared for ten months. Spectators gathered around in the cramped area of the stadium to try and get a glimpse of the Olympic events and many were unable to do even that due to the many people there.
The stadium was completely filled with the people that got there way early. Winning the Olympics was a big deal. People that won three Olympic events were able to have a statue put up. Winners of the Olympic Games were given benefits like free dinners for life and many other things as well. Winners of the Olympic Games were given a wreath made of olive tree leaves for each victory they had in an Olympic event. Nero competed in one of the Olympic Games. The one he competed in was postponed so emperor Nero could compete in a music competition.
The four horse chariot race that he used ten horses in was declared the winner, although he didn’t even finish the race – because it was believed that he would have won if he had finished the race. The Olympics were focused around worshiping the gods, so in the later times of the Roman Empire and Christianity they were banned. The Romans destroyed the temples in Olympia and the Olympics were forgotten. They were later revived 1500 years after the ban on them and in 1896 by Baron Pierre. Since then the Olympics have been held every four years and so far have only been interrupted by the two world wars.
They are now well known by the world instead of just being confined to the Greeks. We currently only honor the gods by the lighting of the Olympic flame in Hera (the queen of the gods) temple. We light the torch using concentrated flames from the sun. The torch makes a long journey,stopping by many places until it finally reaches the Olympic Games and lights an elaborate cauldron, marking the start of the games and not to be put out until it’s time to signal the end of the Olympics. In 2004 Athens, Greece hosted the Olympics again and the shot putt was held in Ancient Olympia.