Greece was the founder of the famous Olympic Games which began at the wooden valley of Olympia in 776 B.C. What’s more is that the Greek calendar was based on the Olympiad or the four year gap between each game. The ancient victors were crowned with the wreaths made up of the olive leaves from behind the temple of Zeus.
Here are some interesting facts about the biggest Sport Event in the world:
1. Ancient Games
The Olympic Games are divided into two- Ancient Olympics and Modern Olympics. The ancient Olympics was held every four years from 776 BC to 393 AD, after which it was abolished by the Christian Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I. It lasted for 1170 years.
Source: nostos.com, Image: bbc
2. Modern Olympics
The Modern Olympics as we know it today was started by a French Baron Pierre de Coubertin. The first Modern Olympics were held in 1896 in Athens.
Source: nostos.com, Image: nationalgeographic
3. First Winner Of Modern Olympics
The first victor of Modern Olympics was an American college student named James Connolly.
Source: nostos.com, Image: telegraph.co.uk
4. Myth of The Olympics
According to a popular myth, Olympics is called funeral games in the memory of Oinomaos, who was about to pass Pelops in a chariot race to marry Hippodamia but was instead thrown to his death.
Source: nostos.com, Image: tumblr.com
5. Augean’s Stable
King Augean’s stable, housed by a large number of cattle, was asked to be cleaned by Hercules for the price of one-tenth of his cattle. Hercules rerouted the Kladeos and Alpheos rivers to flow through the stables. However, Augean did not keep up to his promise. Hercules went back to Elis and waged a war on Augean. Hercules then sacked the city of Elis and instituted the Olympic Games in honour of his father, Zeus.
Source: wikipedia.com, Image: pinterest.co.uk
6. Importance of Olympics
The ancient Greeks firmly believed in the concept of “competition”. The fact that the winner got a wreath of Olive leaves made it a matter of honour for the contestants. The did not compete for material goods. Athletics have been of a great importance to Greeks.
Source: Wikipedia, Image: wikipedia.com
7. Religious Aspect
Olympics was not only believed to be celebrated as the “funeral games” but also as “fertility festivals”. It started with the prominent cult of Zeus and eventually lost most of it’s religious character.
Source: nostos.com, Image: geeknation.com
8. Olympic Truce
A sacred truce was instituted during the month of the Olympiad. Messengers, “spondorophoroi” in Greek, carried the word of the truce and announced the date of the games all over.
Source: historyfacts.com, Image: bbc.co.uk
9. Only Men
Though there were trained women athletes in Greece, only men could participate in the Olympics. Women had their separate games but could participate in the chariot race as horse owners.
Source: nba.com, Image: bbc.co.uk
10. Death Penalty
Married women were prohibited to watch the Games under the penalty of death.
Source: nba.com, Image: youtube
11. The Olympic Flag
The Olympic flag has five intersecting rings of different colours: red, black, green, blue and yellow, displayed on a white background. The rings represent the five parts of the world: the Americas, Australia, Africa, Asia, and Europe.
Baron de Coubertin designed the flag in 1913-1914, and it was first used at the 1920 Olympic Games in Belgium.
Source: kidskonnect.com, Image: london2012.blogs.newyorktimes.com
12. Torch Relay
The tradition of lighting sacred Olympic flames, which symbolised the death and rebirth of Greek heroes, began during the ancient Olympic Games over 2700 years ago. The first torch relay took place at the 1936 games in Berlin, Germany.
Source: kidskonnect.com, Image: heritageinstitute.com
13. Triple Threat
Antartica, South America and Africa have never hosted an Olympic Games.
14. 2016 Olympics- Breaking That Triple Threat
Rio 2016 will be the first time in Olympic history that a South American country has hosted the Games. The city won its bid in 2009, beating out Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo.
Source: nbcnews.com, Image: nbcnews.com
15. Best of Both
There have been only four athletes to ever won medals at both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games: Eddie Eagan (United States), Jacob Tullin Thams (Norway), Christa Luding-Rothenburger (East Germany), and Clara Hughes (Canada).
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