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Avery B.

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The Privilege Of Being An Ancient Olympic Spectator

Being Greek meant two things: playing sports and going to the Olympic games, which was a fundamental mark of their culture.

Reaching Olympia was a humongous task as it involved a long journey covering the hostile territory. An Olympic truce in which people from enemy countries were allowed to pass through was effective though still filled with looming danger.

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Pankration -a combination of wrestling and boxing

Theagenes of Thasos was one of the most praised athletes in antiquity. He won the 76th Olympiad in 476BC.


Born to a priest of the temple of Herakles, this giant of a man competed in ancient Games across the Mediterranean and won over 1,400 times. The people of Thasos believed Theagenes was the offspring of the god himself and erected a statue in his honour.

The Olympic Torch
  • The Olympic torch is lit in the birthplace of the Olympics: Olympia, Greece.
  • It travels the globe through thousands of hands to finally reach the stadium.
  • The Olympic Games came into being in 776 BCE when the Greeks started recreational activities to take a break from war.
  • Spectators could travel safely during the games as there was a sacred truce of ‘no-war' while the mega-event was going on.
The date of the first Olympics contested

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.

Ancient Olympic Games

In the 8th century B.C., the first Olympic Games took place in Olympia, Greece. They were held every four years for 12 centuries and lasted five or six months. The athletes competed naked.

But in the 4th century A.D, Emperor Theodosius I banned all pagan festivals, and the Olympics came to an end.

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