Everyone, no matter how behind the times they are in sports, knows about them. While some may not care or follow them particularly closely, the presence alone is enough to attest to the popularity of the competition. Originally, the event was less of a TV event and more of a monument to time and celebration. Attendees and spectators used the Olympics as a means of honoring the gods, who are often credited for starting events in the first place. The first known Olympics date back to around 776 BC. The events continued every four years until about 425 AD. – more than 1,000 years. In the 1800s, they would be revived and become what they are today.
But what were they all about, when?
The primary events that athletes participated in were boxing, wrestling, discus and javelin throwing, foot games, jumping and equestrian events. The first known Olympic champion was none other than Coroebus. Historians know so much about the early Olympics through surviving historical records and other works of art from the period. It is considered a pagan practice of Christianity and is said to have been shut down by Theodisius II in the fifth century. But when it came back around the beginning of the 19th century, it came back with revenge.
What makes the Olympics such an important part of world history is this: it’s one of the only historically honored events that sees countries of different faiths and hostilities set aside their arguments long enough to instead celebrate their athletes’ prowess. and performance. It’s the closest the world has ever been to “world peace”, and for that reason alone, people continue to value it above all other sporting events. It is also a celebration, at least today, of the amateur athlete.
Welcome to the old Olympic Games
Since its inception, many games have been added, including gymnastics, snowboarding, skiing and slalom. The Olympics today are broadcast on television. It is heralded as a gala spectacle for the whole world to take note of. It is the launching pad for young athletes to become national heroes. The spirit of the original games is still alive and well below the surface, but it has – forgiveness of the analogy – been enhanced by steroids. Social media, television and other forms of technology have taken it far beyond the primitive technologies of the past. Yet today’s Olympics are no more important than they were in ancient times. Perhaps to a lesser extent because of the worldwide belief that existed at the time that the Olympics were a feast for the gods and the gift of athletics they had given humanity.