Nikos CHR. Papakonstantinopoulos
“The festival of nations”, as many have said in the Olympic Games, is the leading sporting event of many events that takes place every four years. Their “”mother”” is ancient Greece and their revival we owe the French baron Pierre de Coubertin, in the late 19th century.
The modern Olympic Games, also known as the Summer Olympics, held every four years since 1896 onwards, with the exception of the periods between the two world wars.
The touch of the Olympic Flame in Ancient Olympia
The first celebration of the Olympic Games in ancient times recorded, was in Olympia in 776 P. Allah. And it almost certainly wasn’t the first time. A long time ago, local races were held, with a single event: the stadium race. From that landmark year, they reached their peak in the fifth and sixth centuries P. Allah., so they also gained religious significance, since they were made in honor of the god Zeus, whose huge statue was located in Olympia. Three events remained in the 293 Olympiads of antiquity (road, wrestling, pentathlon), while in 200 B.C.Allah. The pankration was added. The winners were admired and made immortal through poems and statues, and their only prize was an olive branch wreath.
In the cities that were in War, hostilities ceased during the Games. It was not like this the price for one city to have Olympic champion, who on his return from the Olympics destroyed a part of the walls, wanting to show that “”we don’t need, with such a fellow demigod citizen””!
The athletes competed naked, which is why the regulations strictly prohibited the entry of women, not only on the playing field but also at a great distance from it. If a woman were arrested for violating that principle, she would face the death penalty. The only exception was Roditissa Kallipateira, shortly after the death of her husband, Diagoras of the Rose, who went dressed as a man, wanting to admire her son Peisirorex who was struggling in the struggle. But she was betrayed by her excessive enthusiasm for his victory, and her actions revealed that she was a woman. The Greeks acquitted her, having had so many Olympians in the family (father, husband, brothers, son, and nephew). Kallipateira was honored and praised by many contemporaries, but also later, such as Lorenzo’s Mavilis with his well-known sonnet.
When the Romans conquered Greece, the Olympics began to lose their importance, and this became more evident when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire until 393 m.Allah. Emperor Theodosius forbade them. It is worth noting here that in 67 m. Allah. He came to Greece and the emperor of Rome Nero, who took part in all the games! In the space of that year alone,””secure””, 1400 wins!
Various Olympic torches
In the 17th century, there were small-scale sports organizations in some countries(P.Allah. “”Olympic Games””. In 1856 E. Zappas suggests to Otto the revival of the Olympic Games and three years later the first “”Olympia”” took place, with a parallel exhibition of industrial products, something that was far from the philosophy of Zappa. However, the subject began to get more general interest, after the discovery of the ruins of Ancient Olympia by German archaeologists in the middle of the 19th century.
The scholar Minas Μηνωίδης, from Edessa, who then taught the ancient Greek language at the University of Paris, he translated and published in 1858 in French the “”Wrestlers”” of the Φιλόστρατου and accompanied with text, supporting the need of the revival of the Olympic Games.
A little later, the athlete and Secretary-General of the French clubs, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, tried to justify the defeat of the French in the franco-Prussian war (1870-1871), saying that this is due to the lack of proper physical education of his countrymen, which he wanted to improve. He was still envisioning joining the nationalities and bringing youth closer to the sport, to make wars happen. He believed that the revival of the Olympic Games would achieve both of his above goals. Although it encountered many major obstacles, it managed to organize and hold in 1896 the first modern Olympic Games in the city and the country that gave birth to them.
Although the athletes who took part than did not exceed 250, it was the biggest sporting event ever. Spiros Louis, who won the only gold medal in the marathon for our country. Greek officials and the public were very excited and asked to be held permanently in Greece, something the ILO did not agree with.
It is worth noting here that the 75,000 places of kallimarmaros Panathinaikos Stadium, where they were held, were completed daily, while the total population of Athens and Piraeus amounted to 180,000 inhabitants! Estimates say 50,000 more had been collected the first day in the surrounding streets.