The Olympic games were originally held as a tribute to the God Zeus, the father of the Greek Gods and Goddesses (talk about progeny). The festival was held in Olympia and only freeborn Greek men were allowed to participate. The Olympic Games began in the year 776 BC, when Koroibos, a cook from the nearby city of Elis, won the stadion race, a foot race 600 feet long (ouch! Those are some strong feet).
Milo of Kroton was one of the ancient Olympic champions. He won the wrestling event 6 times, over the span of 34 years despite having to compete IN THE NUDE! Yes, the Ancient Olympic sportsmen ( who were all men, by the way) ran, wrestled, and fought buck naked, (t’was the time for man scaping professionals to get rich). The athletes all trained their bodies as a way to pay homage to Zeus and to show the perfection that came from their tireless efforts. An athlete’s physical perfection was also intimidating to his competitors (Lookie here at them guns boy!). They even trained in the nude at their ‘gyms’, in fact the word gymnasium came from the Greek word gymos, which means “naked.” Although, all the athletes did not technically compete in their birthday suits. Some wore a kynodesme (literally a “dog leash”), a thin leather thong used as a penis restraint (Hello BDSM fans, come right in).
The Olympic flame is a symbol of the Olympic Games (Captain obvious chuckles). Its origins lie in ancient Greece, where a fire was kept burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics. It commemorates the theft of fire from the Greek god Zeus by Prometheus. In contrast the torch relay of modern times, which transports the flame from Greece to the various designated sites of the games, had no ancient precedent and was introduced by Carl Diem at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. The olympic torch is a symbol of the life and the competitive spirit of the Olympic Games. During the torch relay, the Olympic flame is usually carried by runners. But there have been other interesting ways by which it has been transported. In 1948, the Olympic flame crossed the English Channel on a boat. In 1952, it flew in an airplane to Helsinki, Finland (the torch gets to fly on a plane, but I have to take the bus?). The most interesting method of transportation was used in 1976 when the flame was converted into a radio signal that was sent from Athens by satellite to Canada, where it was converted into a laser beam that was used to relight the flame. The Olympic flame has also traveled by canoe, camel and Concorde and also by underwater divers in the Great Barrier Reef in 2000.
There are many events in the Olympics such as gymnastics, swimming, marathons, etc. There is only one sport that isn’t continued till today and that’s pankration. It was an event that one can call, the ultimate fighting forum. No weight classes were taken into consideration and there were no real rules. Pankratiasts were highly skilled grapplers and were extremely effective in applying a variety of takedowns,chokes and joint locks. In extreme cases a pankration competition could even result in the death of one of the opponents, which was considered a win. Participants were only discouraged from biting and eye gouging. Why stop at eye gouging? What fun! If sarcasm was an olympic sport, I would have won it.
Imagine competing in the Olympic games and getting a reward, a shiny medal, some adulations, etc? That’s great, but if you were a competitor in ancient Greece, you got a crown of olive leaves. Wow, how exciting. Hah! At least now you have snapchat filters to give you the olive crown effect.
Do you want to know ‘moon‘ about the olympics? (Yes, that was a terrible pun).