Sporting Events 07-15-2004 21:39

The Ancient Olympic Games included the following events.

The Pentathlon became a Olympic sport with the addition of wrestling in 708 BC and included the following:


Athletes first wore a loin-cloth around their waist and later competed naked. The one exception was the race in armor, in which runners carried a shield, a helmet, and shin plates (oplitis dromos).

Running contests included:

1.the stadion or stade race which was the pre-eminent test of speed, covering the Olympia track from one end to the other (200 m foot race),

2.the diavlos (two stades - 400m foot race),

3.dolichos (ranging between 7 and 24 stades).


Athletes used stone or lead weights called halteres to increase the distance of a jump. They held onto the weights until the end of their flight, and then jettisoned them backwards. A flute player, whose sounds underlined the rhythm and musical flow of properly executed jump, at times accompanied the athletes.

Discus throw (mentioned by Homer as one of the Games Achilles, held in honor of Patroclus).

The Discus was originally made of stone and later of iron, lead or bronze. The technique was very similar to today's freestyle discus throw.

Javelin throw (also mentioned by Homer as one of the Games Achilles, held in honor of Patroclus)

Athletes attached a thong (leather strap) that formed a loop, at the centre of gravity of the javelin, to make the grip more secure and stabilize the javelin in flight. There were two events that involved the javelin throw: one was for distance and the other for accuracy.


It was highly valued as a form of military exercise without weapons. It ended only when one of the contestants admitted defeat.

Boxing was added to the Games in 688 BC. It was mentioned by Homer and the god Apollo is considered to be its founder. Boxers wrapped straps (himantes) around their hands to strengthen their wrists and steady their fingers. These straps were first soft but as time progressed, boxers started using hard leather straps, often causing the disfiguring of their opponent's face.

Editor:Wang Ping

About Us . Get the Channel? . Contact Us Xinhua . People's Daily . China Daily . CRI . . cycnet . eastday .
Copyright © 2005 China Central Television, All Rights Reserved