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Ancient Olympics The first Olympic Games that historians can document took place in 776 BC in Greece. Participants Males were the only participants in the early games. Women were not even allowed to watch because the men competed in the nude.

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ancient olympics

Ancient Olympics

The first Olympic Games that historians can document took place in 776 BC in Greece.

participants
Participants
  • Males were the only participants in the early games. Women were not even allowed to watch because the men competed in the nude.
  • Athletes usually came from wealthy families because they had to pay their own expenses and were required to spend ten months in rigorous training.
events
Events
  • The earliest recorded Olympics lasted only one day and contained only one race, the stade, a sprint one length of the track.
  • In later years the Olympics added additional events including the diaulos, the dolichos, the hoplite, pancratium, throwing games and the pentathlon.
winning
Winning
  • Each winner was crowned with a wreath of wild olive branches, the symbol of victory, and then returned home to a hero’s welcome.
  • Townspeople would knock down a section of the city’s walls so the hero could drive his chariot through a parade of fans bearing food, gifts & money.
roman invasion
Roman Invasion
  • After the Roman Empire conquered Greece, the Olympic Games changed. Religious ceremony and admiration for speed, strength, skill and sportsmanship were replaced with values more important to the Romans.
  • By 393 AD, the Empire embraced Christianity and viewed the Olympic Games as a disgusting display of bad sportsmanship and dishonor.
the end of the ancient olympic games
The End of the Ancient Olympic Games
  • Roman Emperor Theodosius I ordered the destruction of Olympic Stadium.
  • Earthquakes and a flood completed the destruction of the stadium, and the noble spirit of the early Olympic Games faded to a memory.
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