The Olympics are one of those most iconic events in human history. Every four years, people from all over gather to their nearest television to cheer on their respective countries as athletes compete in athletic competition to try and win the gold for their homeland.
However, did you know that the inspiration for very first Olympics were actually based on religion?
In the beginning, the Olympic Games were organized as a festival to honor the Greek god, Zeus, the king of all of the gods and goddesses of Greek mythology. The first Games were thought to be recorded sometime during 776 B.C., but scholars actually believe that there were many more games that took place before this date, so the actual date of the very first Olympics is unknown.
Back then, there was only one event that took place during these Olympics: a foot-race that spanned about 200 yards, or the length of the stadium that it took place in, and the first person who ever won this race was a humble cook named Coroibus of Elis.
After that, the influence of the Spartans inspired the agenda of the current Olympic Games, as they were the ones who inspired the game creators to add more events to the Games, aside from a simple foot-race. The Spartans’ influence paved the way for categories such as wrestling, jumping, spear throwing, and discus throwing to be added to the repertoire of the Games, with many more events to come as more and more events commenced in the following years.
Unfortunately, things would soon come to a head, as the era of Christianity causes the Olympics to be abolished, due to a pushback on the paganism of the Roman era, founded in 393 A.D. by the Roman emperor, Emperor Theodosius.
Luckily, this decision isn’t made permanently, as the Olympics are soon revived in 1896 in Athens, Greece. This was thanks to the efforts of Pierre de Coubertin, who was a young French baron. His efforts led to the creation of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the first Olympic Games that was held after its revival included 280 participants from 13 nations, which, when you think about it, actually wasn’t a far fetch from the structure of today’s Games.
Soon after more Games went underway, it was decided by the Olympic committee to add a different event known as the “Winter Olympics”, which, like its summer counterpart, would include different games for participants to compete in, but they would cater to the winter season. These events would include ice hockey, figure skating, bobsled, luge, and so many other events.
What started as a simple foot race that took place in Greece has blossomed into a breath-taking and exhilarating endeavor where athletes from all over can represent their countries in a physical display of prowess and loyalty that couldn’t be outdone by nearly any other event in human history. The Olympics have come a long way from its previous incarnation, and it’s bound to get more spectacular as years go by.