How Long Did the Ancient Greek Olympic Games Last?

The Ancient Greek Olympic games first started in 776 B.C. to honor Zeus as a 1-day festival; however, the games quickly expanded to a 5-day event filled with many activities by 472 B.C. The games took place every 4 years at Olympia, and only Greek nationals, excluding women, could participate.

As the event was in honor of Zeus, the games would begin with animal sacrifices with up to 100 oxens being sacrificed during the middle of the day. Most athletes would also take this time to pray and make small sacrifices themselves. Athletes would participate in an array of foot races of various distances, boxing, horse racing, long jumping and other activities.