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Olympics in Greece. Produced by: Jason Arnauckas. Olympic Facts. The Olympics began in 776 BC The games were originally held in Olympia, Greece until 393 AD During the ancient games, only young men were able to participate

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olympics in greece

Olympics in Greece

Produced by:

Jason Arnauckas

olympic facts
Olympic Facts
  • The Olympics began in 776 BC
  • The games were originally held in Olympia, Greece until 393 AD
  • During the ancient games, only young men were able to participate
  • The competitors were usually naked because the games were, in part, a celebration of the human body.
how did the olympics get started
How did the Olympics get started?
  • There are different ideas of how the Olympics began.
  • One myth is that the Greek God Zeus started the games to celebrate his victory over his father Cronus for control of the world.
  • Another tradition states that the games began after Greek hero Pelops won a chariot race against King Oenomaus to marry the King’s daughter.

The Olympic Flame

the games
The Games

Olympia Stadium

  • Athletic games were an important part of religious festivals from early on in Greek Culture.
  • The first 13 Olympiads sole event was the footrace.
  • Over time, the Greeks added longer footraces and different events.
  • The pentathlon and wrestling were the first new sports added in the 18th Olympiad.
  • Today, there are 52 different events between the summer and winter Olympic games.
the games continued
The Games Continued
  • The ancient Olympics were very different from the modern games.
  • There were fewer games and only free men who could speak Greek, were allowed to compete.
  • The games were always held at Olympia Stadium instead of moving around to different cities.
  • One common link between ancient Olympics and the modern games is thatthe athletes were heroes to their home towns, as our athletes are celebrities today.
  • Athletics were a key part of education in ancient Greece.
  • Greeks believed that developing the body was equally important as improving the mind for overall health.
  • Young Greek men trained to flute music to make the bodies harmonious.
  • The Palaestra was the place that the men trained and socialized in ancient Greece.

The Palaestra





  • Ancient athletes competed as individuals, not for national teams, as they do now.
  • Athletes that won public competitions won permanent glory and fame.
  • Winning athletes made their town look wealthy and powerful.
  • In ancient Olympic games women were not allowed to compete.
winning the gold
Winning the Gold!
  • In today’s Olympics the top three finishers will receive Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for each event.
  • In ancient Olympics, the winner would receive a crown made of olive leaves and was entitled to a statue of himself at Olympia.


Gold Medal

Olive leaf


competitive spirit
Competitive Spirit
  • In ancient Olympic games the athletes that were found cheating would be fined and the money was used to make statues of the Greek God, Zeus.
  • The first known cheater was Eupolus of Thessaly, who bribed boxers in the 98th Olympiad.
  • Today, some athletes use illegal performance enhancing drugs.

Ben Johnson

Olympic sprinter accused of using steroids

famous ancient olympic athletes
Famous Ancient Olympic Athletes
  • Read about some of the more interesting athletes from the ancient Olympics.

Theagenes of Thasos – winner in 75th and 76th Olympiads

Milo of Kroton – 6 time Olympic winner

Diagoras of Rhodes – won in Olympics and every other major

Greek festival