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Aug 19, 2008

First Olympic Games


Did you know...
According to legend, the ancient Olympic Games were founded by Heracles
(the Roman Hercules), a son of Zeus. Yet the first Olympic Games for which
we still have written records were held in 776 BCE (though it is generally
believed that the Games had been going on for many years already).

At this Olympic Games, a naked runner, Coroebus (a cook from Elis), won the sole
event at the Olympics, the stade - a run of approximately 192 meters (210 yards).
This made Coroebus the very first Olympic champion in history.

The very first MODERN Olympic Games opened the first week of April in 1896.

Since the Games were not well publicized internationally, contestants were not
nationally chosen but rather came individually and at their own expense.
Some contestants were tourists who happened to be in the area during the Games.
Athletes wore their athletic club uniform rather than a national team one.

Pole vaulting,
sprints,
shot put,
weight lifting,
swimming,
cycling,
target shooting,
tennis,
marathon and gymnastics
were all events at the first Olympics.

The swimming events were held in the Bay of Zea in the Aegean Sea.
Gold medalist, Alfred Hoyos Guttmann described it: "I won ahead of the others
with a big lead, but my greatest struggle was against the towering twelve-foot
waves and the terribly cold water."
Approximately 300 athletes participated, representing thirteen countries.

1 comment:

Marilynn said...

I remember studying the ancient olympics back in the 6th grade. I loved it. I remember how "scandalous" the class thought it was when we were told about the nudity. Good times.

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