Friday Fact About: A brief history of the Olympics

According to historical records, the Olympics Games first began in 776BC in Ancient Greece. The games took place on the ancient plains of Olympia and were thought to be a dedication to the Olympian gods. The games continued for approximately 12 centuries, but stopped in 393 A.D., due to Emperor Theodosius declaring all ‘pagan cults’- banned.

summer-olympics
Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games, is located in the Western part of Peloponnese which in Greek Mythology is the island of ‘Pelops’, the founder of the Olympic Games. The site of Olympia consists of imposing temples, votive buildings and elaborate shrines as well as ancient sporting facilities giving the location a real sense of unique natural and mystical beauty.

 

ozeussanctuary

 

Top 5 Facts about the Olympic Games:

  1. The marathon is not actually an event of the ancient Olympic Games
  2. The modern Olympic torch relay was first instituted at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. There was no torch relay in the ancient Olympic Games.
  3. Although the ancient Games were staged in Olympia, Greece, from 776 BC through 393 AD, it took 1503 years for the Olympics to return.
  4. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896.
  5. Nudity in the games first started in 720 B.C., when a runner lost his shorts in the stadion race! 

olympics runner

 

Cyprus at the Olympics:

Cyprus has sent athletes to every Olympic Games held since 1980.

Cyprus earned its first Olympic medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics when Pavlos Kontides earned a silver medal in the men’s laser sailing event but had a near miss at the 2008 Olympics, when Antonis Nikolaidis lost the bronze medal shoot-off in men’s skeet.

Pavlos-Kontides-cherishes-his-silver-medal
Let’s hope Cyprus can bring back more medals this summer!

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