Ancient Olympics

The Olympics is an important part of our worldwide culture today and is often acclaimed as the one of the highest achievements for any athlete. It occurs every four years, hosted by different countries each time and participants from all over the world represent their home countries at the various events. Athletes have to participate in various qualifying rounds and the top three in the finals receive Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. This event is broadcast widely and just about every nation in the world participates, it is truly an inspirational event.

Origins

Started as a demonstration of the physical abilities and capabilities of the young men of ancient Greece as well as a portrayal of the advancement and development of new techniques, these games also encouraged good relations between the various cities of this nation of Greece. Some argue that these games had a highly religious aspect to them, often held along with the festivals dedicated to the Greek god, Zeus. These games have its origins in the city of Olympus, said to be the home of Zeus and indeed, there is a great temple dedicated to this particular god in the center of this city.

The games

Ancient Olympic games had much less categories than the ones today and also, unlike today, only natural born Greek males were allowed to participate. One is required to prove their Greek identity before being allowed to participate and it is said that even king Alexander had to do just this. Most events also only allowed women to participate though some women have been known to enter horses in some events. Events of the Ancient Olympics include various categories of running, which could involve athletes wearing full or partial armor, carrying a shield. Over time, many more events were added, including wrestling, boxing, chariot racing, long jump, javelin and discuss throw, to name a few.

Today the Olympic games consists of hundreds of events, many of which are beautifully choreographed, like figure skating, or require extreme skill, like gymnastics. Participants are not restricted based on their nationality and there are categories in just about every event for both sexes. We have come quite a long way from our early beginnings and we have made much progress, progress we should be proud of as a species. Lets us hope that we will continue along this trajectory and one day achieve true unity among all cultures and genders as we have done through the Olympic games.