The Beginning Of The Modern Olympic Games

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The Beginning Of The Modern Olympic Games Essay, Research Paper Brian Green Mrs. Johnson English III-4 9 January 2000 The Beginning of the Modern Olympic Games From the earliest that historians can trace back which was nearly since the beginning of time, people have been putting on and celebrating some type of a festival. The festivals held in the foot hills of Cyllene and Erymanthus at Olympia were considered to be religious and athletic. Some historians believe that in the beginning of time, two gods, Zeus and Kronos, the most powerful gods of all, battled for the earth and the games and religious celebrations held later were in commemoration of the victory of Zeus. In the time of about 776 B.C. there was a great foot race in a meadow beside a river named Alpheaus. The race

was between two really fast sprinters. The race also was believed to be only about thirty seconds long. It was approximately six hundred and thirty feet long or about what we know as the two hundred yard dash. This race started the competitions of the Olympic Games. The winner of the race would be crowned with a wreath of olive leaves, which was considered then, as the best crown a winner could possibly receive. There was a great sprinter in the time of about 776 B.C. that had won a great foot race. His name was Coroebus. Since the race was won by Coroebus he was considered to be the Greatest athlete at that time in history. It is believed that Coroebus was just a cook from the nearby Greek city of Elis.(Grolier Inc. 16) In the days of Ancient Greece, the Olympic Games were held

every four years. It is believed that then, the greatest athlete was the man that could throw the discuss the farthest. The discuss is a circular object that one holds in the palm of his hand and with the tips of his fingers and he throws it as far as he can without stepping outside of a little circle. Each one of the Olympic Games had specific rules and regulations that the athletes had to follow. All of the athletes had to swear that they had gone through a vigorous ten month training program before going to compete against any other competitor in the Olympics. This was necessary for every event.(Grolier Inc. 15) In the ancient days, the competitors that competed had a relatively large stadium compared to the ones in today’s world of athletics. The Olympic stadium in Olympia

could hold about 45,000 to 50,000 spectators at one time. The field inside the stadium was only about two hundred and thirty four yards long and thirty five yards wide.(Kieran 14-16) All of the grounds in Olympia were very sacred and treasured grounds. Noone under arms could enter Olympia because of the sacredness of the grounds. The number of people that actually attended the Olympic Games is unknown. The Games to the Greeks were considered to be the most important thing to do or to see. The word “stadium” was derived from “one stade” which came from the great foot race that was approximately six hundred and thirty feet long.(Grolier Inc. 16) The four-year period between each olympiad is believed to have started in about three hundred B.C. A very cruel and unusual event

in the Olympics was called the pancration. This was a combination of wrestling and boxing. The winner was crowned when the loser was dead, unconscious, or raised his hand in defeat. In one case, two men were fighting and one killed the other. The fight was so brutal that the athlete that was killed was crowned as the winner. The Olympic Games were beginning to decline in about the year sixty seven A.D. In three hundred ninety three A.D., the roman Emperor, Theodosis , was a convert to Christianity. He considered the games pagan and ordered them to be abolished. He also said that the Games had become a “public nuisance”.(Grolier Inc. 25) All of the temple of Zeus and Hera were torn down. Huge earthquakes and extremely large floods ruined the site and eventually Olympia was