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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, 01:48:31 pm »



Boxing contest









Great athletes



Milo of Croton, in southern Italy, would come high on anyone's list of greats.

He was Olympic champion in the men's wrestling six times in the sixth century, besides winning once in the
Olympic boy's wrestling, and gaining seven victories in the Pythian Games. He is said to have carried his own
statue, or even a bull, into the Olympic arena, and to have performed party tricks such as holding a pomo-
granate without squashing it and getting people to pry open his hand - nobody could.



                   'He was Olympic champion in the men's wrestling six times in the sixth century, ...

                                     and gaining seven victories in the Pythian Games.'



Then there is Leonidas of Rhodes, who, in the second century BC won all three running events at four
consecutive Olympics.

Another great Rhodian athlete was Diagoras, who in the fifth century BC won at all four of the major Games (Olympic, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmian). His three sons and two of his grandsons were also Olympic champions.

Superhuman heavyweights were regarded with special awe.

Cleomedes, a fifth-century Olympic boxing champion, killed an opponent at the Olympics, was disqualified, went
mad and smashed up a school.

Not a recipe for special reverence, you might think.

But the Greeks regularly explained abnormal feats and states of mind by saying that something
divine, or a god, had entered whoever was affected in this way, and Cleomedes ended up
receiving semi-divine honours as a hero.
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