The Olympic Games are definitely something that people around the world look forward to. You might watch the Olympic games with great interest when they’re taking place, but this doesn’t mean that you know about the history of the Olympics. Have you ever wondered how the Olympics began? Keep reading to get more information about the Olympics and how they came into being.
Most people have at least a vague idea that the concept of the Olympics started in Ancient Greece. Sometime around 2,700 years ago, the Olympic games were started in Olympia. Olympia was located in the Southwest portion of Greece, and every four years, people would travel to this location to take part in the Olympic Games. It is said that more than 50,000 people would show up to watch and participate in the games.
It’s also worth noting that the original incarnation of the Olympic Games was religious in nature. People came together at the games to honor and celebrate Zeus himself. These original games did not see winners being handed medals made of gold, silver, or bronze either. The winners received a wreath of leaves and were given a hearty heroes welcome when they returned home victorious.
The Olympic Truce
Another interesting facet of the original Olympic Games involves the idea of the Olympic truce. Various countries and people would actually call off wars and battles just to travel to the Olympic Games. This truce was so that people could safely travel to the Olympic Games without having to worry. The event was so important to the people of the time that even conflicts would grind to a halt until the games were completed.
Married Women Weren’t Allowed
One odd fact about the Olympic Games during this time is that women who were married weren’t allowed to watch the games. Only men, boys, and unmarried women could come to the stadium to watch the games. Women who broke the rules would be killed by being thrown off the side of a mountain. Times were certainly different back then.