Ancient Greece and Athletics

The Competitive Character of the Ancient Greeks
Among the Ancient Greek, competition was highly valued. Victory at the Olympics games was a gateway to earning a man praises and recognition. One received a prominent seat of honor at public games and a large gift (Young, 2008). The Ancient Greeks athletics were based on an individual’s physical endeavor required to outdo an opponent. This competitive nature made sports among Ancient Greeks to exclude competition involving teams as well as performances seeking setting of records. The athletes would train in gymnasiums.
Why do you think the competitive nature of the Greeks was so important for their success as a people and culture?
The common belief among the Greeks was that their competitive nature in athletics differentiated them from the Non-Greeks and it is for this reason that only Greek citizens were permitted to compete. This indicates that the competitive nature of the Greeks was critical to their perception of their social placing (Hawhee, 2004).
What are some of the advantages of being very competitive?
Being competitive is advantageous to an individual because, firstly, it helps one to persevere in an effort to attain the desired goals. Secondly, it makes an individual do what it takes on the journey to attain their desires to ensure that they keep up with their status. Along with that, it made the Ancient Greeks confident in all that they did, which was helpful in overcoming any obstacles facing them in attempts to attain all their goals.
Greece was very small compared to all her neighbors (like Persia and Egypt) so why was being competitive a big advantage for Greece?
Despite being smaller than its neighbors, being competitive meant that the Greeks were dedicated and worked hard thereby making them succeed in their many endeavors in academics, sports, military, and even trade.
The Ancient Olympics vs The Modern Olympics
Talk about the fact that Greek male athletes competed nude versus today -imagine how that would play out with modern television…
In the ancient Olympics, the young males had a good physique and well-conditioned body. Some competitions included contests for physically fit males. The competitors in the ancient Olympics including the athletes, boxers, and wrestlers competed while naked. In the modern Olympic, athletes compete while dressed in appropriate uniforms indicating their nation’s colors.
Discuss the sheer scope of the modern games with so many nations versus the smaller number of Greek cities
The ancient Olympic Games only involved a few athletes from Greek cities. The only people allowed to compete in the ancient Olympics Games were the people of Greek descent. In the modern Olympics, a larger number of athletes are involved drawn from countries across the globe. Ancient Olympics were only held in the city of Olympia. On the other hand, the modern Olympics are held in different cities across the world.
Are the Olympics today more about ‘the athletes’ or the ‘nations’?
The modern Olympics have shifted the glory from the individual athletes to the nations. The athletes in the modern Olympics represent their nation and upon winning, the praises are given to the country with the flag raised and the national anthem played. The win tabulation is done for the number of medals that each country receives.
Women in the Olympic Games
Explain what the Olympic rules regarding females.
One of the Olympics rules on females was on the girl’s attire, where the girls had their free down on their back and wearing a tunic hanging low to the knees and covering only left shoulder and breast. Another Olympic rule on females allowed unmarried girls to watch the men and boys’ competition but barred the married women.
What does artifact the “running girl” artifact, reveal about female Greek athletics?
The “running girl” artifact represented a bronze statue of a girl runner. This represented the idea that females could to participate in the competition. The artifact also reveals the kind of attire that the female athletes wore, which was a shot tunic (Swaddling, 2011).
What are women’s role in Greek society? Did they have a voice in society?
In the Greek society, the women stayed at home. They were not allowed to participate in certain activities such as politics, law, and military. The patriarchy system in the Greek society meant that women did not have a voice in the society.

Hawhee, D. (2004). Bodily Arts: Rhetoric and athletics in ancient Greece. Austin, Tex: University of Texas Press.
Swaddling, J. (2011). Ancient Greek Olympics Gallery. BBC. Retrieved from
Young, D. C. (2008). A brief history of the Olympic games. Malden, Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.

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