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Presentation on theme: "ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM Powered by A. Mineo – R. Piccolo."— Presentation transcript:


2 Festivals were a very important part of life in ancient Greece, and were a central part of worshipping the gods. They usually included a procession and a sacrifice. Festivals also included various competitions, which were seen as another way to honour a god. There were competitions in music, poetry, drama and also athletics. Some of the most important festivals of ancient Greece involved athletic competition, such as the Olympic Games, which were held in honour of Zeus, and the Pythian Games, held at Delphi in honour of Apollo. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

3 Historical records indicate that they began in 776 BC in Olympia. They continued to be celebrated when Greece came under Roman rule, until the emperor Theodosius I suppressed them in 394 AD as part of the campaign to impose Christianity as the state religion of Rome. The festival at Olympia in honour of Zeus was the most important athletic event in th e reeck world. From every region of Greece and its colonies, athletes came to Olympia to compete in a range of events over five days. To achieve victory at the Olympic Games brought the highest honours to an athlete. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

4 Day 1: the Olympics Games begin The festival has begun, but most of the athletes won't compete today. This morning the athletes worship Zeus and later, they can relax with family and friends, before the competition gets underway tomorrow. The only events today are for young athletes, between 12 and 18: these are running, wrestling and boxing.

5 Day 2: Chariot and horse-racing and the pentathlon It's the second day of the Games and now the contest gets going. Up first, horse and chariot-racing and later, over in the stadium, the pentathlon. This evening the crowd honours the first Olympic hero, Pelops, and then it's time for feasting. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

6 Chariot races The morning's events take place in the hippodrome. A great procession of chariots, horses and riders makes its way into the large arena, cheered by the crowds standing on the grassy banks. In the seats sit the judges.The chariot races are first. These are dangerous and the crowds roar their support for the favourite competitor. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

7 Horse races After the chariot races, the horse races take place. These are much shorter than the chariot races, just one lap of the arena. Jockeys ride bareback and some of the riders fall during the race. The horses that take part are owned by wealthy people, but only a few of these actually ride in the race. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

8 Pentathlon The crowds now head over to the stadium. They jostle for position to get a good view of the events about to take place in the pentathlon: these are discus, javelin, jumping, running and wrestling. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

9 Honouring an Olympic hero and Feasting As evening approaches, the crowds gather around the shrine of the first winner of the chariot race, Pelops. His funeral ceremonies are re-enacted, while the athletes dream of taking their place in the glorious history of winners at Olympia. Feasting ends the day, as the winners of the events listen to hymns sung in their honour and parade around the Altis (the sacred area of the site of Olympia, containing the temples of Zeus and Hera). Those who have lost think of what might have been. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

10 Day 3: Sacrifices to Zeus and running race Today, Zeus is honoured with sacrifices and a procession. It’ s the most important religious event of the festival. Later on, over in the stadium, it's the running races, including the all- important sprint race. And this evening, it's the big banquet to celebrate the victories so far. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

11 Long-distance race, Sprint race In the stadium, the crowds wait for the running races to begin. First is the long-distance race, called the dolichos. There are no lanes for running and a sharp turn at either end, and the athletes push and jostle and even deliberately trip each other. The Sprint race is the event that all the spectators have been looking forward to: the sprint race. A blast on the herald's trumpet signals the start. It is just one length of the stadium, about 192 metres. This event brings more glory to the winner than all the other Olympic sports: if you win, the Games will be named after you, so preserving your name for history. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

12 The banquet Once more the evening is a time for celebrating the victories of the day. The meat from the morning's sacrifice is divided between athletes, special guests and spectators for a huge banquet. The ambassadors who had paraded around the Altis in the morning now make use of the gold and silver vessels for the banquet, and so display the wealth of their city. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

13 Day 4: The contact sport and the “race in armour”. Contact sports take centre stage today, with wrestling, boxing and the pankration on offer. Over in the stadium, the race in armour will be contested this afternoon. To start is the wrestling. The athletes use all their strength to hold down their opponent and get their shoulders or back on the ground. They must get three of these 'falls' to win. There is no time limit to the contest and the wrestlers ignore their aching limbs in the fight for victory. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

14 Boxing, Pankration Only the toughest athletes compete in the boxing. The spectators watch as the men fight until one gives up or is knocked out. Around their hands are wound strips of leather. As the fight progresses, the men become bruised and battered, but they don't want to give in. Whilst the boxing continues, another event takes place that requires the strength and skills of boxing and wrestling - the pankration. The athletes can strike and kick each other and even use strangleholds to defeat their opponent. The only things not allowed are biting and gouging (the action of digging or scooping into something) with the fingers. When one of the athletes can take no more, he raises a finger to show the judge he gives in. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

15 Race in armour Under the hot August sun, the spectators wait to watch the last event of the games. This is a race in armour, called the “hoplitodromos”. Like the javelin (the athlete throws a special spear as far as possible), this reminds those watching that sporting effort is vital for war, as it ensures the soldiers are fit and strong. The athletes run two lengths of the track wearing a helmet, greaves and shield. Twenty-five identical shields are kept in the Temple of Zeus for the competitors to use, so ensuring that no one cheats with a lighter shield. As the winner crosses the finishing line, the crowds stand and cheer, knowing that it will be four years, before they watch this race again. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

16 Day 5: The Games end and the celebrations of victory. It's the last day and time to acknowledge our winners. First up, the procession and then, the moment the victors have been waiting for, the presentation of olive leaf crowns. We end the day with feasting, singing and parties. Athletes, their families and the spectators celebrate the victors of this year's Games. The winning athletes lead a great procession of people to the Temple of Zeus. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

17 Olive leaf crowns – Feasting and parties The winners come to the moment they have dreamed of: one by one each athlete steps forward and is crowned with a wreath of olive leaves. Having received this great honour, the victors know that they have made a great offering to Zeus of their strength and speed. As the athletes are congratulated, the crowds celebrate too, showering their heroes with bright petals and leaves which they toss into the hair. Tomorrow, athletes, their trainers and families, and the spectators, will start the journey home. But for now, the sanctuary at Olympia is filled with the sounds of feasting and singing, as banquets and parties take place and people relive the glorious achievements of the Olympic Games. ACTIVE SPORTIVE HEALTHY EUROPEAN YOUTH TEAM

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