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What Exactly Is The Olympic Tradition?

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Author Topic: What Exactly Is The Olympic Tradition?  (Read 1427 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2008, 01:41:42 pm »



A winner being presented
with tokens of victory









Earliest races



For the first 13 Olympics there was only one event, the stadion race , which was a running race up one length of the stadium. How long this race was is a matter for conjecture, as the ancient stadium, 192 meters long, visible at Olympia now, did not exist then.

In 724 BC a longer, there-and-back race, the diaulos, was introduced, followed four years later by the long-distance race, the dolichos, a race of perhaps 12 laps. The emphasis on running in the early years of the Olympics may reflect the perceived basic requirements for a fit soldier.


'The emphasis on running in the early years of the Olympics may reflect the perceived basic

requirements for a fit soldier.'


Boxing, wrestling, and the pancration (the 'all-power' race, combining all types of physical attack) soon followed, along with the pentathlon, and horse-and-chariot racing. A race while wearing armour was introduced in 520 BC, and even a mule race (in 500 BC, but it was not generally popular).

So the changing shape of the modern Olympic programme is not without precedent, though the ancient Greeks would perhaps have balked at the sight of some of our modern 'sports'.
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