Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Theodore W. Eversole
Many of the recreational activities found in ancient Greece contain elements easily recognizable as sport or entertainment today. The holding of games every four years in Olympia, Greece, has its equivalent in the modern Olympic Movement, which has been part of world sports since the formation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894 and the beginning of the new Olympics in 1896. The ancient Greek Olympics date from 776 b.c.e., when the first winner can be confirmed. These games have also contributed to our understanding of ancient Greek values and culture. The Greeks established sport and games as a way to honor their gods and therefore made sport a central feature of religious observation. The ancient Olympics were played over five days, however, the athletes and their trainers decamped in preparation for 30 days before the competitions began. In addition, standards of play were formalized that allowed competitors and spectators ...