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Reinstitution Of Olympics

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The Olympics are a huge sporting event that contains many different sports and consists

of many different countries from around the world. Back in ancient Greece is where the ancient

Olympics originated. It was primarily a part of a religious festival in honor of Zeus the father of

Greek Gods and Goddesses. The Olympics where held at the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia,

which is in Western Peloponnesos. From 776 BC, the games took place at Olympia every 4 years

for almost 12 centuries. However, for a period of time of 1503 years for the Olympics were no

where to be found. The reinstitution of the Olympic games came when a Frenchman named

Baron Pierre De Coubertin

In 776 BC, a foot race was the only event. The winner was the first Olympic hero ever.

From that very first race to today, the Olympics have always been a way for nations to come

together in friendly competition and international goodwill.

The conditions of the first Olympics were not anything like they are today. The events

were held in an open space in which a track had been paced off, areas for the javelin and discus

had been laid out, etc. The spectators did not have stands to sit in; instead, they occupied the

sloping areas around the track; sitting on blankets and sleeping in tents if they were wealthy

enough to have one.

Since the games were held during the hottest time of the year, flies were a terrible

problem. The problem was so pervasive that an offering, in the form of a sacrifice, was made to

Zeus, asking him to keep the flies away from Olympia.

As time went on different features and structures were added to the site. A hippodrome

was built for the chariot races, a gymnasium and bathhouse for the athletes, and even a hotel for

Kim 2

the wealthiest of spectators.

Vendors were there, selling wine that the spectators drank along with the cheese, bread

and olives they ate. Sanitation was basically nonexistent. Water was always in short supply until

Herodes Atticus of Athens built an aqueduct and a water system. This did not occur until the

games had been taking place for 900 years.

The contests consisted of foot races, horse and chariot races, boxing, wrestling, discus,

javelin, broad jump, and horse races. The horse races were unique in that the prizes were given to

the owner of the horse, not the rider. The discus, javelin and broad jump were part of the

pentathlon event, which also included a 200-meter dash and a wrestling match. The winner had

to have taken three of the five events.

On the fifth and final day of the festival, the athletes marched to the temple of Zeus to

collect their winnings, the coveted victorÐ'ÐŽÐ'Їs olive wreath. The winner of an Olympic event won

much more than just the olive wreath however. He was often awarded a cash bonus by his

townspeople; sometimes a pension for life. Additionally,

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