Olympia the birthplace of the Olympic Games
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Olympia the birthplace of the Olympic Games

Greece ● Ilia ● Olympia ● Peloponnese ● 24 July 2016
 

Olympia the birthplace of the Olympic Games

Olympia is the birthplace of the Olympic games and the sacred land of Zeus, many ideals found fertile ground there. It was not only the Olympic games but also honor, piece, struggle and the body- all in one. During a visit in the archeological site and the museum of ancient Olympia, someone can walk in one of the most important sanctuaries of ancient Greece. Ancient Olympia is located in Ilia, Peloponnese.

According to mythology, Olympia is connected with many gods and stories which describe in various ways the birth of the Olympic Games. According to one version of these stories, Zeus competed his father Cronus won and took the throne of the gods. To celebrate his victory, Zeus established the Olympic games. Another myth says that there were five bothers, who had been brought up by Zeus, who first began the games. The brothers competed in Olympia and the oldest brother, Hercules, honored the winners with a hoop made of olive tree branches.

Since 472, the games have five day duration, instead of the initial one. During the first day the athletes did their subscription which was followed by a sacred vow, declaring that they had been trained for ten months and that they will respect the rules, during that day there were held games amongst messengers. The second day horse racings and pentathlon tool place. The third, running games. The forth day, wrestling, boxing and “pangratio” and the fifth day the award ceremony and festivities were held.

If an athlete was caught for bribery, fraud, or poisoning, he was obliged to found a statue of Zeus, on which would be engraved his family’s name and what he had done. This statue would be put in the entrance of the stadium, in order every athlete could see it, before he took part in the games, so to remember what could happen to him. This pathway is known as the walk of shame.

The archeological site of ancient Olympia, is one of the most well preserved sights in Greece, in is open to the public and anyone who would like to take the time machine and go back to a sacred, ancient place.


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