The first Olympic Games in 776 BCE


Olympic discus athlete
Olympic discus athlete
The Olympic Games have a long and varied history. The first games were played in 776 BCE in the Greek city of Olympus Greece. The only event was a race in which a cook named Koroibos won by running a distance of 192 meters (just over 200 yards). Held every four years with the various Greek city-states competing, sucessive Olympic Games incorporated more sporting events such as boxing, the discus, javelin throwing, jumping, track and running competitions, horse riding, chariot racing and wrestling. The games were held in honor of Zeus, the king of the large pantheon of Greek gods

Initially, only men were allowed to compete in the various sporting events; women were forbidden from even watching the competitions. Rules were strict and the athletes were forbidden from accepting and prize money and only received a wreath made of olives for victories.

The games more or less went on for centuries and almost uninterrupted until 391 AD, when the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, who was a Christian, banned the games due to their association to the pagan gods of ancient Greece.

Artist conception of the ancient Greek city of Olympos
Artist conception of the ancient Greek city of Olympos

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