What events gave rise to the Olympic games? According to Stan Greenberg, the Olympic games derived from legendary conflicts among the Greek gods.(13). The games gave new light to the term sportsmanship, and the events created a tradition that will last forever.
Researchers believe that in 776 BC, in Olympia, Greece, the first Olympic event was held (Wallechinsky 5). The stadium was located in a valley. The valley was referred to as "the fairest spot of Greece. This celestial valley was one of the most famous sanctuaries of ancient Greece (Douglas 17). People would come from all around to see the event, and the evidence from the ruins showed that the stadium would hold over 20,000 spectators (Greenberg 13). .
In the beginning of the Olympics, the events known to the modern games did not exist. Instead of the multiple-day events in modern day Olympics, the first Olympic game was only one event, a stade race of approximately 192 meters that lasted about thirty seconds (Greenberg 13). Of course, along with the first game, there had to be athletes. In the beginning, the athletes did not compete for gold, silver, or bronze medals. Their prizes were olive wreaths. The first winner of the Olympic game was a sprinter, Coroebus, a cook from the Greek city, Elis. The athletes were all male. They competed in the nude, on a sanded track, which would seem to make the competition harder than the modern games. The word athlete is derived from Aethlius the King of Elis, the area which Olympia lies (Greenberg 13). The Greeks believed that "the body of man has a glory, as well as his mind, that both mind and body need discipline, and that by such discipline men best honored Zeus, a Greek god"(Douglas 17). .
As the time passed, the Olympic games began to develop. Various competitions were added. The new competitions gave the opportunity for many other athletes. The pentathlon was eventually added. This event consisted of running, jumping, throwing the discus and javelin, and also wrestling.