Based on records of stade-length races, the ancient Olympic games started in 776 B.C.E. But that era is not well-documented, so the actual date of the first Olympic Game is still contested.
The ancient Greeks told conflicting stories of the origins of the ancient Olympics. The stories were interlaced with mythology and history.
One Olympic origins story involved one of the members of the House of Atreus.
Pelops was desperate to win in a chariot race against King Oinomaos of Pisa because he wanted to marry the king's daughter, Hippodamia. So Pelops replaced the king's chariot's lynch-pins with ones made of wax, and during the race, the pins melted, throwing the king from his chariot and killing him. Pelops then married Hippodamia and commemorated his victory by holding the first Olympic Games.
Another theory attributes the Olympic games to the Greek hero Hercules.
Hercules held the games to honour his father, Zeus after Hercules took revenge on King Augeas of Elis for not keeping to his promise.
Pausanias says the Olympic origins stem from Zeus' victory over Cronus.
A common thread in the origin stories of the Olympic games is that the games came about because of a personal or competitive victory that was supposed to honour the gods.
The Ancient Greeks held the Olympics every four years, known as an Olympiad. The Olympics were a religious event for the Greeks. A temple dedicated to Zeus stood on the site of Olympia.
Representatives of each city-state could attend the ancient Olympics. Cities considered Olympic victors as heroes. Poets attended the games and wrote victory odes for the winners.
All free Greek men could be potential participants in the Olympics. By the Hellenistic Period, professional athletes competed.
Olympic sporting events included boxing, discus, equestrian events, javelin, jumping, pankration, pentathlon, running, and wrestling. Olympic winners were crowned with an olive wreath and had their names inscribed in the official Olympic records.
More like this
The all-time greats of the Ancient Olympic Games
Welcome to the Ancient Olympic Games
14 Cool Facts About The Olympics That You Might Not Know
Explore the World’s
Take Your Ideas
Just press play and we take care of the words.
No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.
2 Million Stashers
Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.
Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.
This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!
Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.
Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.
Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.
I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!
Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.
Read & Learn
Access to 200,000+ ideas
Access to the mobile app
Unlimited idea saving & library
Unlimited listening to ideas
Downloading & offline access
Supercharge your mind with one idea per day
Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.
I agree to receive email updates