In our history, we need to remember the important continuation of tradition. Tradition is timeless and continues to this day. Not many know some of the traditions that were throughout the course in history. Though there are traditions that comes from a span of more than a thousand years. Hidden in folklore, culture, heritage, and ancient books from the history of the past. There are those who can discover the truth within our ancient history. Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee (I.O.C.) renewed a piece of tradition in our history. It is the Ancient Olympic Games.
In the honor of Zeus, the father of the Greek gods and goddesses, Olympia held festivals and the games. The greeks that came to the sanctuary of Zeus shared a mutual respect and understanding. The sanctuary was named after Mt. Olympus, the highest mountain in the mainland Greece. Mt. Olympus was the home of the greatest of the Greek gods and goddesses.
In 776 BC, when Koroibos, a cook from the nearby city of Elis won a stadion race. It was a footrace that was over 176m. This is a distance set by Heracles which is called a “stade”, which the word Stadium is derived.
The word “athlete” stems to a wider meaning. Greek gymnasiums wasn’t only about physical strength, speed, and endurance. They held lectures on philosophy, literature, music, and medicine. This was an important part in spiritual and social life in training. Healthy citizens needed a strong background in morals and ethics. The games were held in Olympia every four years for almost 12 centuries.
From 776 BC to 393 AD, it took about 1503 years to reach the first modern Olympics held in Athens, Greece in 1896. The man responsible was a Frenchman named Pierre de Coubertin. 34 countries heard the movement to rebirth the Olympics to move the games to Athens in 1896.
Through the modern years, competitors began with 43 sporting events. It included track and field, cycling, swimming, gymnastics, weightlifting, wrestling, shooting, tennis, and fencing. Other sports were included as time went on. The Winter Olympics came along featuring figure skating, ice hockey, and bobsledding. This made it well balanced for the Olympics to hold all kinds of athletes in different seasons.
From Ancient Greek to the modern, there is a common root that is beneath the evolution of sports. It is the spirit of reconnecting and giving the opportunity to witness true ability. We all have the unity in spirit. We just need to be willing to make that connection.
The importance in the Olympic Games is not to win, but to take part; the important thing in Life is not to triumph, but the struggle, the essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. – Pierre de Coubertin
Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash
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